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BART., KB., P.R.S. 











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itoar*atmural 3. TO. H. TOfjarton, C.B., jF.E.S., &c. &c. 

MY DEAR ADMIRAL Allow me to dedicate to you, as the able 
Editor of Captain Cook's Journal of his first voyage round the world, 
that of his fellow-voyager Sir Joseph Banks, in token of the great 
assistance afforded me through your labour on the aforesaid work, and 
as the efficient and accomplished tenant of an office for which I have 
ever entertained a profound respect, that of Hydrographer of the 

Let me at the same time take the opportunity of coupling with 
your name my tribute to the memory of three of your predecessors, 
who honoured me with their friendship, and encouraged me in my 
scientific career as an officer in the service to which you belong 
Admiral Sir F. Beaufort, Admiral Washington, and Captain Sir 
F. Evans. 

Believe me, 

Very sincerely yours, 


May 1896. 


MY principal motive for editing the Journal kept by Sir 
Joseph Banks during Lieutenant Cook's first voyage round 
the world is to give prominence to his indefatigable labours 
as an accomplished observer and ardent collector during the 
whole period occupied by that expedition, and thus to pre- 
sent him as the pioneer of those naturalist voyagers of later 
years, of whom Darwin is the great example. 

This appears to me to be the more desirable, because in 
no biographical notice of Banks are his labours and studies 
as a working naturalist adequately set forth. Indeed, the 
only allusion I can find to their literally enormous extent 
and value is in the interesting letter from Linnaeus to Ellis, 
which will be found on p. xl. In respect of Cook's first 
voyage this is in a measure due to the course pursued by 
Dr. Hawkesworth in publishing the account of the expedi- 
tion, when Banks, with singular disinterestedness, placed his 
Journal in that editor's hands, with permission to make 
what use of it he thought proper. The result was that 
Hawkesworth * selected only such portions as would interest 

1 Dr. Hawkesworth devotes his "Introduction to the First Voyage" 
almost exclusively to the services which Banks rendered, and gratefully 
acknowledges that all such details as are not directly connected with navi- 
gation are extracted 'from the diary of that naturalist. But for the purpose 
of identifying the work of each observer this is insufficient, and barely does 
justice to the second of the two authors, who is in reality responsible for 
the greater portion of the book. In reference to Hawkesworth being 
employed as editor of Cook's Journal, the following passage is extracted 



the general public, incorporating them with Cook's Journal, 
often without allusion to their author, and not unfrequently 
introducing into them reflections of his own as being those 
of Cook or of Banks. Fortunately the recent publication 
by Admiral Wharton of Cook's own Journal l has helped to 
rectify this, for any one comparing the two narratives can 
have no difficulty in recognising the source whence Hawkes- 
worth derived his information. 

Another motive for editing Banks's Journal is to empha- 
sise the important services which its author rendered to 
the expedition. It needs no reading between the lines of 
the great navigator's Journal, to discover his estimation of 
the ability of his companion, of the value of his researches, 
and of the importance of his active co-operation on many 
occasions. It was Banks who rapidly mastered the lan- 
guage of the Otahitans and became the interpreter of the 
party, and who was the investigator of the customs, habits, 
etc., of these and of the natives of New Zealand. It was 
often through his activity that the commissariat was sup- 
plied with food. He was on various occasions the thief- 
taker, especially in the case of his hazardous expedition for 
the recovery of the stolen quadrant, upon the use of which, 
in observing the transit of Venus across the sun's disc, the 
success of the expedition so greatly depended. And, above 
all, it is to Banks's forethought and at his own risk that an 
Otahitan man and boy were taken on board, through whom 
Banks directed, when in New Zealand, those inquiries 
into the customs of its inhabitants, which are the founda- 

from Prior's Life of Malone : " Hawkesworth, the writer, was introduced by 
Garrick to Lord Sandwich, who, thinking to put a few hundred pounds into 
his pocket, appointed him to revise and publish Cook's Voyages. He 
scarcely did anything to the MSS., yet sold it to Cadell and Strahan, the 
printer and bookseller, for 6000. ..." 

1 Captain Cook's Journal during Ms First Voyage round the World in 
H.M. Bark "Endeavour" 1768-71, with Notes and Introduction by Captain 
W. J. L. Wharton, R.N., F.R.S., Hydrographer of the Admiralty. 



tion of our knowledge of that interesting people. And 
when it is considered that the information obtained was at 
comparatively few points, and those on the coast only, the 
fulness and accuracy of the description of the New Zea- 
landers, even as viewed in the light of modern knowledge, 
are very remarkable. Nor should it be forgotten that it was 
to the drawings made by the artists whom Banks took in 
his suite that the public is indebted for the magnificent 
series of plates that adorn Hawkesworth's account of the 
voyage. Still another motive is, that Banks's Journal gives 
a life-like portrait of a naturalist's daily occupation at sea 
and ashore nearly one hundred and thirty years ago ; and thus 
supplements the history of a voyage which, for extent and im- 
portance of geographic and hydrographic results, was unique 
and " to the English nation the most momentous voyage of 
discovery that has ever taken place " (Wharton's Cook, Pre- 
face), and which has, moreover, directly led to the prosperity 
of the Empire ; for it was owing to the reports of Cook and 
Banks, and, it is believed, to the representations of the latter 
on the advantages of Botany Bay as a site for a settlement, 
that Australia was first colonised. 

The following brief history of the Journal itself is in- 
teresting. On Sir J. Banks's death without issue in 1820, 
his property and effects passed to the Hugessen (his wife's) 
family, with the exception of the library, herbarium, and 
the lease of the house in Soho Square. These were left to 
his librarian, the late eminent botanist, Robert Brown, F.K.S., 
with the proviso that after that gentleman's death, the 
library and herbarium were to go to the British Museum. 
Banks's papers and correspondence, including the Journal 
of the voyage of the Endeavour, were then placed by the 
trustees in Mr. Brown's hands, with the object of his writ- 
ing a Life of Banks, which he had agreed to do. Age and 
infirmities, however, interfered with his prosecution of this 


work, and at his suggestion the materials were transferred 
with the same object to my maternal grandfather, Dawson 
Turner, F.RS., 1 an eminent botanist and antiquarian, who had 
been a friend of Banks. Mr. Turner at once had the whole 
faithfully transcribed, but for which precaution the Journal 
would as a whole have been irretrievably lost, as the sequel 
will show. Beyond having copies of the manuscript made, 
Mr. Turner seems to have done nothing towards the Life, 
and after a lapse of some years the originals were returned, 
together with the copies, to Mr. Knatchbull Hugessen, who 
placed them in the hands of the late Mr. Bell, Secretary of 
the Eoyal Society, in the hopes that he would undertake 
to write the Life. For their subsequent wanderings and 
the ultimate fate of many portions, I am indebted to Mr. 
Carruthers, F.RS., late Keeper of the Botanical Collections 
at the British Museum, who has favoured me with the 
following interesting letter concerning them : 

Uth July 1893. 

DEAR SIR JOSEPH Since I saw you about the Journal of Sir 
Joseph Banks in Captain Cook's Voyage, I have been making further 
inquiries regarding the original document. 

The Banksian Journal and correspondence were sent to the Botani- 
cal Department, after correspondence with Mr. Knatchbull Hugessen, 
to remain in my keeping till the death of Lady Knatchbull, when it 
would become the property of the trustees. I was instructed to 
deposit it in the Manuscript Department. This was in October 1873. 
Some time thereafter I persuaded Mr. Daydon Jackson to look at the 
correspondence with the view of preparing a biography of Banks. 
This he agreed to do. I wrote to Mr. Bell, who informed me in a 
letter written 14th February 1876, that he had tried to get Lord 

1 It was when on a visit to my grandfather in 1833 that I first saw the 
orife A Journal in Banks's handwriting. It was then being copied, and I 
was employed to verify the copies of the earlier part by comparison with 
the original. I well remember being as a boy fascinated with the Journal, 
and I never ceased to hope that it might one day be published. 



Stanhope to undertake the biography, when he found that he could 
not himself face it, and thereafter Mr. Colquhoun and then Mr. John 
Ball, F.R.S. I obtained from the box, by leave from Mr. Bond, then 
Keeper of MSS., in the beginning of 1876, the transcripts made for 
Mr. Dawson Turner by his two daughters, which have remained under 
my care in the Botanical Department. 

The story of the originals after I parted with them is a distressing 
one. Some seven or eight years ago Lord Brabourne claimed the 
letters as his property. Mr. Maunde Thompson remonstrated, and 
told him that they were to remain in the museum till the death of 
Lady Knatchbull, and then they were to become the property of the 
trustees. Lord Brabourne would not accept this view, but claimed 
them as his own, and carried off the box and its contents. They were 
afterwards offered to the museum for sale, but the price offered by 
the Keeper of the MSS. was not satisfactory, and the whole collec- 
tion was broken up into lots, 207, and sold by auction at Sotheby's 
on 14th April 1886. The Journal of Cook's voyage was lot 176, 
and was described in the catalogue as " Banks's (Sir Joseph) Journal 
of a Voyage to the Sandwich Islands and New Zealand, from March 
1769 l to July 1771, in the autograph of Banks." It was purchased 
by an autograph dealer, John Waller, for l : 2 : 6. Mr. Britten has 
gone to Waller's to inquire after the Journal. Waller did not 
specially remember that purchase, and he does not believe he has 
got the manuscript. So where it is now no one knows. 2 As you 
will see, the earlier portion of the Journal was missing in the lot sold. 
Waller bought in all 57 lots. The letters were broken up and sold 
as autographs ; those that he purchased and did not know, like 
those of Brass, Nelson, Alex. Anderson, etc., and were of no money 
value, he would probably at once destroy, so he told Mr. Britten. So 
now all is gone for whether the letters are preserved by autograph 
collectors, or were at once thrown into the wastepaper basket, they 
are equally lost to science. The 207 lots realised in all 182 : 19s. ! 

The result is that the Journal and letters transcribed for Dawson 
Turner, and now here, are the only ones available. I am thankful 
they have been saved out of the catastrophe. 

Your transcriber is diligently at work. I am, faithfully yours, 


1 That is some time after leaving Rio, and before arriving at Otahite. 

2 I have since ascertained that the Journal came into the possession of 
J. Henniker Heaton, Esq., M.P., who informs me that he disposed of it to 
a gentleman in Sydney, N.S.W. 


It will be seen from the above that the present work 
owes its existence to the copy of the original made by the 
Miss Turners, and of which I was permitted by the Trus- 
tees of the British Museum to have a transcript made for 
publication. In doing this I have largely exercised my 
duties as editor in respect of curtailments. The Journal 
was literally a diary, to which may truly be applied the 
motto nulla dies sine linea, and contains nearly double 
the quantity of matter here reproduced. The omitted por- 
tions are chiefly observations on the wind and weather ; 
extracts from the ship's log, which find their proper place 
in Cook's Journal ; innumerable notices of birds and marine 
animals that were of constant recurrence ; and lists of 
plants and animals, many with MS. names that have since 
been superseded. 

Owing also to the Journal being a diary written up 
from day to day, and in no way revised for publication, the 
grammar and orthography are in the original very loose, 
and I have therefore corrected the language to accord with 
modern requirements ; the only exceptions being in the 
case of native words, such as Otahite, tattowing, kangooroo, 
etc., of which the spelling is consistent throughout, and 
which consequently really represent Banks's own impres- 
sion of the native pronunciation of such words. 

It remains gratefully to record my obligations to the 
Trustees of the British Museum, for permission to tran- 
scribe the Journal, and to the Officers of the Natural 
History Department, Sir W. Flower, Mr. Carruthers, and 
Mr. Murray, and to Mr. E. E. Sykes, an acute malacologist, 
for aid in the endeavour to determine some of the animals 
designated by MS. names in the Journal. My friend Mr. 
B. D. Jackson, Sec.L.S., author of the article on Banks in 
the Dictionary of National Biography, has kindly supplied 
me with information for the Life of Banks, and has con- 


tributed that of Solander. My son, Eeginald H. Hooker, has 
aided me in the revision of the Journal and in the press 
work, and has drawn up the notices of the earlier voyagers 
and naturalists to whom reference is made by Banks. Lastly, 
I have cordially to thank the Presidents and Councils of 
the Eoyal and Linnean Societies respectively, for permission 
to reproduce in photography the admirable portraits of 
Banks and Solander which adorn their meeting-rooms. 


May 1896. 






Departure Birds and marine animals Species of Dagysa Madeira Dr. 
Heberden Madeira mahogany Wine-making Vines Carts Vege- 
table productions Convent Chapel wainscoted with bones General 
account of Madeira Peak of Teneriffe Marine animals Cross the 
equator Climate of tropics Luminous animals in the water Trade 
winds Brazilian fishermen Sargasso weed Rio harbour . Page 1 



Obstacles to landing Viceroy memorialised Boat's crew imprisoned 
Vegetation, etc. Ship fired at Leave Rio harbour Description of 
Rio Churches Government Hindrances to travellers Population 
Military Assassinations Vegetables Fruits Manu factures Mines 
Jewels Coins Fortifications Climate .... Page 26 



Birds Christmas Insects floating at sea " Baye sans fond " Cancer 
gregariusFucus giganteus Penguins Terra del Fuego Staten Island 
Vegetation Winter's bark, celery Fuegians Excursion inland 


Great cold and snow-storm Sufferings of the party Death of two men 
from cold Return to ship Shells Native huts General appearance 
of the country Animals Plants Scurvy grass, celery Inhabitants 
and customs Language Food Arms Probable nomadic habits 
Dogs Climate Page 43 



Leave Terra del Fuego Cape Horn Albatross and other birds, etc. Multi- 
plication of Dagysa, Cuttlefish Cross the line drawn by the Royal 
Society between the South Sea and the Pacific Ocean Tropic birds 
Occultation of Saturn Freshness of the water taken on board at Terra 
del Fuego Speculations respecting a southern continent Marine 
animals Suicide of a marine Scurvy Lemon juice Lagoon Island 
King George III. Island Means adopted for preventing the scurvy 
Preserved cabbage ........ Page 62 



Reception by natives Peace offerings and ceremonies Thieving Natives 
fired upon Death of Mr. Buchan, the artist Lycurgus and Hercules 
Tents erected An honest native Flies Music A foreign axe found 
Thefts Names of the natives The Dolphin's Queen Quadrant 
stolen Dootahah made prisoner Visit to Dootahah Wrestling 
Tubourai offended Natives at divine service Cask stolen Natives 
swimming in surf Imao Transit of Venus Nails stolen by sailors 
Mourning Previous visit of foreign ships Banks takes part in a native 
funeral ceremony Travelling musicians Canoes seized for thefts Dogs 
as food Circumnavigation of the island Image of man made of basket- 
work Gigantic buildings (marai) Battlefield Return to station 
Bread-fruit Excursion inland Volcanic nature of the island Seeds 
planted Dismantling the fort Banks engages a native to go to 
England .......... Page 73 



Departure from Otahite Huahine Ulhietea God-houses Boats and boat- 
houses Otahah Bola-Bola Return to Ulhietea Reception by 
natives Dancing Pearls The King of Bola-Bola Native drama 
Oheteroa Dress Arms Page 110 




Description of the people Tattowing Cleanliness Clothing Ornaments 
and head-dress Houses Food Produce of the sea Fruits Animals 
Cooking Mafiai-making Drinking salt water Meals Women eat 
apart from the men Pastimes Music Attachment to old customs 
Making of cloth from bark Dyes and dyeing Mats Manufacture of 
fishing-nets Fish-hooks Carpentry, etc. Boats and boat-building 
Fighting, fishing, and travelling ivahahs Instability of the boats 
Paddles, sails, and ornaments Pahies Predicting the weather 
Astronomy Measurement of time and space Language Its resem- 
blance to other languages Diseases Medicine and surgery Funeral 
ceremonies Disposal of the dead Religion Origin of mankind Gods 
Priests Marriage Marais Bird- gods Government Ranks 
Army and battles Justice Page 127 



Waterspout Comet : its effect on natives Diary at sea Condition of ship's 
supplies Port Egmont hens Land of New Zealand made A native 
shot Conflict with natives Capture of a canoe Poverty Bay Natives 
come on board Their appearance and clothing Boy seized by natives 
Appearance of the land Occupations of the natives Bracken as food 
Mode of fighting Religion A large canoe Natives throw stones on 
board Coast along New Zealand Habits of natives Transit of Mercury 
Shags Oysters Lobster-catching Heppahs or forts Thames River 
Timber trees Page 179 



Tattowing Thieving of the natives Cannibalism Rapid healing of shot- 
wounds Native seines Paper mulberry Native accounts of their 
ancestors' expedition to other countries Three Kings' Islands Christ- 
mas Day Albatross swimming Mount Egmont Murderers' Bay 
Queen Charlotte's Sound Threats of natives Corpses thrown into the 
sea Cannibalism Singing -birds Fishing- nets Human head pre- 
served Discovery of Cook's Straits Native names for New Zealand, 
and traditions Courteous native family Leave Queen Charlotte's 
Sound Tides Cape Turnagain Coast along the southern island 
Banks' Peninsula Appearance of minerals Mountains along the west 

coast Anchor in Admiralty Bay Page 203 





Its discovery by Tasman Mountains Harbours Cultivation Trees Suita- 
bility of Thames River for colonisation Climate Absence of native 
quadrupeds Birds Insects Fish Plants Native and introduced 
vegetables Absence of fruits New Zealand flax Population Qualities 
of the natives Tattowing and painting Dress Head-dresses Ear- and 
nose-ornaments Houses Food Cannibalism amongst men Freedom 
from disease Canoes Carving Tools Cloth fabrics Nets Tillage 
Weapons Spontoons War and other songs Human trophies Heppahs 
Chiefs Religion Burial Language "\ Page 221 



Choice of routes Reasons in favour of and against the existence of a 
southern continent Suggestions for a proposed expedition in search of 
it Leave New Zealand Malt wort Portuguese man-of-war and its 
sting Hot weather Land seen Waterspouts Variation of the com- 
pass Natives Their indifference to the ship Opposition to landing 
Excursion into the country Vegetation and animals seen Botanising 
Timidity of the natives Enormous sting-rays Treachery of the 
natives Leave Botany Bay Ants Stinging caterpillars Gum trees 
Oysters Crabs Figs impregnated by Gynips East Indian plants- 
Ants' nests Butterflies Amphibious fish Ship strikes on a coral rock 
Critical position Fothering the ship Steadiness of the crew 
The ship taken into the Endeavour River Scurvy . . Page 254 



Pumice-stone Ship laid ashore Kangooroos seen White ants Preserving 
plants Chama gigas Fruits thrown up on the beach Excursion up 
the country Making friends with the Indians A kangooroo killed 
Turtle Indians attempt to steal turtle and fire the grass Didelphis 
Among the shoals and islands Lizard Island Signs of natives crossing 
from the mainland Ship passes through Cook's passage Outside the 
grand reef Ship almost driven on to the reef by the tides Passes 
inside the reef again Corals Straits between Australia and New 
Guinea Page 281 




General appearance of the coast Dampier's narrative Barrenness of the 
country Scarcity of water Vegetables and fruits Timber Palms 
Gum trees Quadrupeds Birds Insects Ants and their habitations 
Fish Turtle Shell-fish Scarcity of people Absence of cultivation 
Description of natives Ornaments Absence of vermin Implements 
for catching fish Food Cooking Habitations Furniture Vessels 
for carrying water Bags Tools Absence of sharp instruments Native 
method of procuring fire Weapons Throwing - sticks Shield 
Cowardice of the people Canoes Climate Language . Page 296 



"Sea-sawdust" New Guinea Landing Vegetation Natives throw fire- 
darts Home-sickness of the crew Coast along Timor Rotte Aurora 
Savu Island Signs of Europeans A boat sent ashore to trade Anchor 
Reception by natives Their Radja Mynheer Lange House of 
Assembly Native dinner Obstacles to trading Mynheer Lange's 
covetousness Trading Dutch policy concerning spices . Page 324 



Mr. Lange's account Political divisions of the island Its general appear- 
ance Productions Buffaloes Horses Sheep Fish Vegetables 
Fan-palm Liquor Sugar-making Fire-holes for cooking Sustaining 
qualities of sugar Description of the natives Dress Ornaments- 
Chewing betel, areca, lime, and tobacco Construction of their houses- 
Looms and spinning-machines Surgery Religion Christian converts 
Radjas Slaves Large stones of honour Feasts Military Weapons 
Relations with the Dutch Mynheer Lange Language Neighbour- 
ing islands Wreck of a French ship Dutch policy with regard to 
language Page 340 




Leave Savu Arrive off Java European and American news Formalities 
required by Dutch authorities Mille Islands Batavia road Land at 
Batavia Prices and food at the hotel Tupia's impressions of Batavia 
Introduction to the Governor Malarious climate Bougainville's 
visit to Batavia Orders given to heave down the ship Illness of 
Tupia, Dr. Banks, Dr. Solander, etc. Death of Mr. Monkhouse, Tayeto, 
and Tupia Remove to a country-house Malay women as nurses 
Critical state of Dr. Solander Ship repaired Captain Cook taken ill 
Heavy rains Frogs and mosquitos Return to the ship . Page 362 



Situation Number of houses Streets Canals Houses Public buildings 
Fortifications Castle Forts within the city Soldiers Harbour 
Islands and uses to which they are put Dutch fleet Country round 
Batavia Thunderstorms Marshes Unhealthiness of the climate 
Fruitfulness of the soil Cattle, sheep, etc. Wild animals Fish 
Birds Rice Mountain rice Yegetables Fruits : detailed description, 
supply and consumption Palm- wine Odoriferous flowers Spices 
Population and nationalities Trade Cheating Portuguese Slaves 
Punishment of slaves Javans Habits and customs Native attention 
to the hair and teeth Running amoc Native superstitions Crocodiles 
as twin brothers to men Chinese : their habits, mode of living, and 
burial Government Officials Justice Taxation Money . Page 377 



Leave Batavia Cracatoa Mosquitos on board ship Prince's Island 
Visit the town Account of Prince's Island Produce Religion Nuts 
of Gycas circinalis Town Houses Bargaining Language Affinity 
of Malay, Madagascar, and South Sea Islands languages Leave Prince's 
Island Sickness on board Deaths of Mr. Sporing, Mr. Parkinson, Mr. 
Green, and many others Coast of Natal Dangerous position of the 
ship Cape of Good Hope Dr. Solander's illness French ships 
Bougainville's voyage . Page 417 




Account of the Cape of Good Hope Its settlement by the Dutch Cape 
Town Dutch customs Government Climate General healthiness 
Animals Wines Cost of living Botanical garden Menagerie 
Settlements in the interior Barrenness of the country Hottentots : 
their appearance, language, dancing, customs, etc. Money Leave 
Table Bay Eobben Island St. Helena Volcanic rocks Cultivation 
Provisions Introduced plants Natural productions Ebony 
Speculations as to how plants and animals originally reached so remote 
an island Leave St. Helena Ascension Island Ascension to England 
Land at Deal Page 432 


INDEX Page 459 


Sm JOSEPH BANKS Frontispiece 

DR. D. SOLANDER To face page xxxviii 


THE WORLD, showing the track of the Endeavour . .At end of book 







THE name of Sir Joseph Banks is pre-eminent amongst the 
many distinguished scientific men who adorned the long 
reign of George the Third, and his career practically coincides 
with the reign of that monarch, closing in the same year. 
The hold he has always had on popular estimation is per- 
haps less due to his high position in the royal favour, or 
his long tenancy of the presidential chair of the Eoyal 
Society, than to the prominent part he took in the voyage 
of H.M.S. Endeavour under Lieutenant Cook, and his con- 
tributions to Hawkesworth's account of it. Cook's story is 
that of a sailor, and his account of his discoveries is rendered 
more attractive by the introduction of passages from the 
more graphic pages of Banks's Diary : it is these passages 
which attracted so much attention in the narrative drawn 
up by Dr. Hawkesworth. Cook's own Journal, recently 
published by Admiral Wharton, shows this very clearly, and 
the naturalist's own record of their discoveries and adven- 
tures is now for the first time given to the public. 

Joseph Banks was born in Argyle Street, London, on 
2nd February 1*743 (o.s.). He was the son of William Banks 
(sometime Sheriff of Lincolnshire and M.P. for Peterborough), 
of Eevesby Abbey, Lincolnshire, a gentleman of some fortune, 
due to his father's successful practice of medicine in that 

1 No adequate Life of Sir Joseph Banks having as yet appeared, the com- 
piler of the following notes is indebted mainly for his information to Weld's 
History of the Royal Society, Sir John Barrow's Sketches of the Royal Society 
and the Royal Society Club, to Mr. B. Daydon Jackson's article on Banks in 
the Dictionary of National Biography, and to scattered incidental notices. 


county. At the age of nine he was sent to Harrow, and 
four years later was transferred to Eton, where he displayed 
an extreme aversion from study, especially of Greek and 
Latin, and an inordinate love of all kinds of energetic 
sports. It was while he was here that he was first attracted 
to the study of botany, and having no better instructor he 
paid some women " cullers of simples," as Sir Joseph him- 
self afterwards called them who were employed in gather- 
ing plants, for which he paid them sixpence for each article 
they collected and brought to him. During his holidays he 
found on his mother's dressing-table an old torn copy of 
Gerard's Herbal, having the names and figures of some of 
the plants with which he had formed an imperfect acquaint- 
ance ; and he carried it back with him to school. "While at 
Eton he made considerable collections of plants and insects. 
He also made many excursions in company with the father of 
the great Lord Brougham, who describes him as a fine-looking, 
strong, and healthy boy, whom no fatigue could subdue, and 
no peril daunt. 

He left Eton when seventeen to be inoculated for the 
small-pox, and on his recovery he went up to Oxford, entering 
as a gentleman commoner at Christ Church. Prior to this, 
however, after his father's death in 1761, he had resided 
with his mother at Chelsea, where he had availed himself 
of the then famous botanical garden of the Apothecaries' 
Company. He found himself unable to get any teaching in 
botany at Oxford, but obtaining leave, he proceeded to Cam- 
bridge and returned with Israel Lyons, 1 the astronomer and 
botanist, under whom a class was formed. In December 
1763 he left Oxford with an honorary degree, and coming 
of age in the year following, found himself possessed of an 
ample fortune, which enabled him to devote himself entirely 
to the study of natural science. At this time also he 
formed a friendship with Lord Sandwich, a neighbouring 
landowner, both being devoted to hunting and other field 
sports. The two are credited with having formed a project 

1 Afterwards calculator for the Nautical Almanac, and, owing to the in- 
fluence of Banks, astronomer to Captain Phipps' Polar Voyage in 1773. 


to drain the Serpentine, in order to obtain some light on 
the fishes it contained. 

In May 1766 he was elected F.K.S., at the early age of 
twenty-three, and in the summer of that year accompanied 
his friend Lieutenant Phipps (afterwards Lord Mulgrave) to 
Newfoundland, where he investigated the Flora of that then 
botanically unknown island, returning next year by way of 
Lisbon. His journal of the trip is preserved in manuscript 
in the British Museum. After his return home, he became 
acquainted with Dr. Solander, of whom a brief notice is 
appended, and with whom he was closely connected until 
the death of the latter. 

Shortly after the accession of George III., several ships 
had been sent to the Southern Seas in the interest of 
geographical science. Commodore Byron sailed in 1764, 
Captains Wallis and Carteret in 1766, and these had no 
sooner returned than the Government resolved to fit out an 
expedition to the island of Tahiti, or, as it was then called, 
Otahite, under Lieutenant James Cook, in order to observe 
the transit of Venus in 1769. Mr. Banks decided to avail 
himself of this opportunity of exploring the unknown 
Pacific Ocean, and applied to his friend Lord Sandwich, then 
at the head of the Admiralty, for leave to join the expedi- 
tion. At his own expense, stated by Ellis to be 10,000, 
he furnished all the stores needed to make complete collec- 
tions in every branch of natural science, and engaged Dr. 
Solander, four draughtsmen or artists, and a staff of servants 
(or nine in all) to accompany him. 

The adventures of Banks and his companions on this 
voyage in the Endeavour are told in the diary which is the 
main object of this volume. It will be enough here to point 
out his untiring activity, whether in observing or collecting 
animals and plants, investigating and recording native customs 
and languages, bartering for necessaries with the inhabitants, 
preventing the pillaging to which the expedition was 
frequently subjected, or in the hazardous chase of the stolen 
quadrant in the interior of Otahite. 

In July 1771 the travellers returned with an immense 


amount of material, the botanical part of which was for the 
most part already described, and needed but little to pre- 
pare it for the press. The descriptive tickets, which had 
been drawn up by Solander, were arranged in systematic 
order in what are still known as "Solander cases," and 
transcribed fairly by an amanuensis for publication. About 
700 plates were engraved on copper in folio at Banks's ex- 
pense, and a few prints or proofs were taken, but they were 
never published. Five folio books of neat manuscript, and 
the coppers, rest in the hands of the trustees of the British 
Museum. The question arises, why were they never 
utilised ? The descriptions were ready long before Solander's 
death, although the plants collected in Australia do not 
seem to have been added to the fair copies, and the plates 
were mainly outlines. This has always been regarded as an 
insoluble problem, but the following extracts from a letter 
written by Banks very shortly before Solander died, may 
be accepted as evidence of his intention to publish. The 
letter from which the extract is taken is undated, and takes 
the shape of a draft without any name, but it is a reply to a 
letter addressed to Banks by Hasted, who was then collect- 
ing materials for the second edition of his history of the 
county of Kent. 

Botany has been my favourite science since my childhood ; and the 
reason I have not published the account of my travels is that the first 
from want of time necessarily brought on by the many preparations for 
my second voyage was entrusted to Dr. Hawkesworth, and since that 
I have been engaged in a botanical work, which I hope soon to publish, 
as I have near 700 folio plates prepared ; it is to give an account of 
all such new plants discovered in my voyage round the world, some- 
what above 800. 

Hasted's letter, to which this is an answer, was dated 
25th February 1*782, little more than two months before 
Solander's death (alluded to on a subsequent page), an event 
which has generally been accepted as determining the fate 
of the intended publication. 

But we must now go back a few years. In 1772 pre- 
parations were made for a second expedition under Cook in 


the Resolution, with the object of ascertaining the existence, 
or the contrary, of an Antarctic continent, and Lord Sandwich 
invited Banks to accompany it as naturalist, to which he 
readily consented. Towards this new venture he made elabo- 
rate preparations, on a scale for which even his ample fortune 
did not suffice, for he had to raise money to complete his out- 
fit. 1 Various surmises or explanations have been advanced 
to account for Banks's abandonment of his intention to pro- 
ceed on this voyage ; amongst others it has been said that 
Cook raised difficulties concerning the accommodation ; and it 
is stated that Banks's equipment would have necessitated 
the addition of a poop-deck on the vessel destined for the 
voyage, which would have materially interfered with its 
sailing powers. But the reason given by Sir John Barrow, 
who was for many years Secretary of the Admiralty, is no 
doubt the correct one. He states (Sketches of the Royal 
Society, p. 26) that " such a system was adopted by the Navy 
Board to thwart every step of his proceedings, especially on 
the part of its chief, the Comptroller of the Navy, Sir Hugh 
Palliser, whereby his patience was worn out, and his indig- 
nation so far excited as to cause him, though reluctantly, 
to abandon this enterprise altogether." It may be incident- 
ally mentioned that the great chemist Priestley, whom Banks 
had invited to join the expedition (on advantageous terms, 
including a provision for his family), was also objected to, 
in his case on account of religious principles, by the Board of 
Longitude. Although thus bitterly disappointed, Banks never- 
theless used his utmost endeavour to promote the objects of the 
voyage ; and that there was no personal bitterness between 
Banks and Cook seems certain from the following extract from 
a hasty note by Solander to Banks after Cook's return : 

Two o'clock, Monday, 14th August 1775. 

This moment Captain Cook is arrived. I have not yet had an 
opportunity of conversing with him, as he is still in the Board-room 

1 The last few cases of specimen bottles prepared for this voyage were not 
utilised until they were transferred by Robert Brown to the editor of this 
"Journal," when the latter was preparing to accompany Captain James Ross 
on his voyage to the Antarctic Ocean in 1839. 


giving an account of himself and company. He looks as well as 

Captain Cook desires his best compliments to you ; he expressed 
himself in the most friendly manner towards you that could be ; he 
said, "Nothing could have added to the satisfaction he has had in 
making this tour, but having had your company." He has some 
birds in spr. v. [spirits of wine] for you, etc. etc. 

Thus baulked of their design, Banks and Solander set out 
on a scientific expedition to Iceland in a vessel specially 
chartered for them at a cost of 100 a month. They sailed 
on the 12th July 1772, and on the way Banks carried 
out an intention he had formed to visit Staffa, to which he 
was the first to draw the attention of scientific men, sending 
a complete description, with drawings and measurements, 
to Thomas Pennant, who inserted it in his Tour to the 
Highlands of Scotland. They spent a month in Iceland, 
exploring Mount Hecla, the geysers, and other remarkable 
features of the island. Banks made copious observations, 
which Dr. Troil, one of the party, and afterwards Arch- 
bishop of Upsala, included in his interesting account of the 
island, without, however, according to Barrow, doing full 
justice to the exertions of Banks and his companions, whom 
he dismisses with a too vague and general eulogium. Banks 
also afterwards placed his MS. journal at the disposal of 
Sir William Hooker, whom he had advised to visit the 
island for scientific purposes, and who made copious use of 
it, with due acknowledgment, in his Tour in Iceland. 

Banks always continued to take a keen interest in the 
Icelanders, and his humanity " was of signal service to these 
poor creatures ; for when, some years afterwards, they were 
in a state of famine, the benevolence and powerful interest 
of this kind-hearted man brought about the adoption of 
measures which absolutely saved the inhabitants from star- 
vation. "We were at war with Denmark, and had captured 
the Danish ships, and no provisions could be received into 
Iceland. Clausen, a merchant, was sent to England to 
implore the granting of licences for ships to enter the island, 
and through the active intervention of Sir Joseph, who, as 


a Privy Councillor, was an honorary member of the Board 
of Trade, the indulgence was granted" (Barrow, loc. cit. p. 29). 
That Banks contemplated a voyage to the North Pole 
appears from a statement by Barrow that he announced 
such an intention at a meeting of the Batavian Society at 
Eotterdam in 1773, when he desired to be put in possession 
of such discoveries and observations as had been made by 
the Dutch, promising to acquaint them with any discoveries 
he might make in the course of such a voyage. 

, On his return from Iceland, Banks settled in Soho 
Square, where he accumulated a magnificent library (as 
well as at Eevesby Abbey) and large collections, the whole 
being arranged in the most methodical manner. These 
business-like habits formed a marked feature in everything 
he undertook throughout his life, as to which interesting 
testimony is afforded by Barrow, who, during a visit shortly 
before Banks's death, was shown his papers and correspond- 
ence carefully assorted and labelled. In this he received 
considerable assistance from his successive librarians, 
Solander and Dryander. 

On the resignation of Sir John Pringle in November 
1778, Banks was chosen to succeed him as President of 
the Eoyal Society, an honour for which he had incontest- 
able claims, in his many sacrifices to science in all climates 
during the voyages to Newfoundland, round the world with 
Cook, and to Iceland, in his ardent love of natural science, 
his many accomplishments, his wealth and social position, 
his habitual intercourse with the king and with the heads 
of public departments whose influence was greatest for the 
furtherance of scientific research, and, above all, perhaps, in 
the disinterestedness with which he placed his collections 
and library at the disposal of all applicants of merit, and 
in the expenditure of his wealth. 

Notwithstanding all these claims on the votes of the 
Fellows of the Society, Banks was not destined to retain 
tranquil possession of the Presidency, and two or three 
circumstances, arising out of the zeal with which he dis- 
charged his duties, made him several enemies. One of 


these causes was his action with regard to the election of 
Fellows. Owing to the absence of any scrutiny of the 
claims of the candidates proposed for the Fellowship, Banks 
announced his intention of performing this office himself, 
and of making known his views concerning each proposal 
to the Council and Fellows. This measure, which created 
considerable dissatisfaction amongst a certain section of the 
Fellows, was nevertheless necessary, owing to the recent 
election of numerous candidates of no scientific merit what- 
ever. " D'Alembert, in allusion to the extreme prodigality 
with which the honours of the Fellowship were distributed, 
was in use to ask jocularly any person going to England, if 
he desired to be made a Member, as he could easily obtain 
it for him, should he think it any honour. . . . Upon this 
subject Lord Brougham says : ' Two principles were laid 
down by him [Banks] ; first, that any person who had 
successfully cultivated science, especially by original inves- 
tigations, should be admitted, whatever might be his rank 
or fortune ; secondly, that men of wealth, or station, disposed 
to promote, adorn, and patronise science, should, but with 
due caution and deliberation, be allowed to enter ' " (Weld's 
History of the Royal Society}. 

A crisis was, however, brought about by the following 
circumstance. The Council, under the influence, it is said, 
of the President, passed a resolution recommending that the 
Foreign Secretary should reside in London ; and this 
measure was followed by the resignation of Dr. Hutton, then 
Foreign Secretary, and Professor at Woolwich, who, it was 
complained, had neglected his duties as secretary of the 
Society. Dr. Horsley, afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph, 
attacked the President in very bitter terms, lamenting that 
the chair which had been filled by Newton should be thus 
lowered in dignity, and predicting all kinds of disasters as 
the direct consequence of electing a naturalist as President. 
He induced several influential members to follow him, but 
when the fact became clear, as it soon did, that he desired 
the reversion of the chair for himself, his influence declined ; 
he withdrew from the Society with a few intimates, and 


Banks remained in undisputed possession of the chair till 
his death in 1820. 

The excellent qualities of the President whom this 
victory kept in the chair were clearly exhibited by 
the temper with which he regarded the opposition. The 
sketch of his character (says Barrow) given by Lord 
Brougham is true to the life : " He showed no jealousy of 
any rival, no prejudice in anybody's favour rather than 
another's. He was equally accessible to all for counsel 
and help. His house, his library, his whole valuable collec- 
tions, were at all times open to men of science, while his 
credit both with our own and foreign Governments, and, if 
need were, the resource of his purse, were ever ready to help 
in the prosecution of their inquiries." 

One of the earliest official acts of the new President 
was a proof of the estimation in which he held his late 
fellow-voyager Cook. On the death of the latter in 1779, 
Banks proposed to the Council that a medal should be 
struck as a mark of the high sense entertained by the 
Society of the importance of his extensive discoveries in 
different parts of the globe, the cost being defrayed by 
subscription among the Fellows. The medal, designed by 
L. Pingo, bears a portrait of the great navigator in profile 
on the obverse, with a representation of Britannia pointing 
to the south pole of a globe on the reverse. 

Amongst other noteworthy services rendered by Banks 
in his capacity as President of the Eoyal Society, the 
following may be mentioned. In 1784 the Council obtained 
the permission of George III. to commence a geodetical 
survey under General Koy : this served as the basis of the 
Ordnance Survey. In the following year he made successful 
application to the king to guarantee the cost (amounting 
to 4000) of Sir William Herschel's 40 -foot telescope. 
He served on a committee of the Society appointed, at the 
instance of the Secretary of State, to ascertain the length of 
the pendulum vibrating seconds of time at various localities 
in Great Britain. In 1817 the Council at his suggestion 
recommended Government to fit out an Arctic expedition : 


as a result, two were sent, the one under Captain John 
Eoss in search of the North- West Passage ; the other, which 
included Franklin, to sail northwards by the east coast of 

He was on several occasions invited to stand for Parlia- 
ment, but always declined, preferring to devote his entire 
time to his duties as President of the Eoyal Society, and 
to the innumerable functions it entailed. 

It is sometimes said that Banks viewed with strong 
disapproval the formation of other societies for the pursuit 
of natural science. This was certainly so in the case of the 
Astronomical Society, which he considered would seriously 
decrease the importance of that over which he himself 
presided. But this was only because he conceived the 
objects of the former association to be so intimately con- 
nected with those of the Eoyal Society that there would 
not be sufficient scope for both. On the other hand, he 
was one of the founders of the Linnean Society in 1788, 
and took an even more prominent part in the formation of 
the Eoyal Institution in 1*799. 

In March 1*779 he married Dorothea, daughter of 
William Western Hugessen, Esq., of Provender, Kent. In 
1782 Solander died, and from that time onward Banks 
became more and more absorbed in the duties of the Eoyal 
Society, and acted as chief counsellor in all scientific matters 
to the king. In this capacity he had virtual control of the 
Eoyal Gardens at Kew, then under the cultural care of 
the elder Aiton, where were raised the plants produced by 
seeds brought home by himself, and so many of the novelties 
described in I'He'ritier's Sertum Anglicum, Aiton's Hortus 
Kewensis, and other botanical works. It was due to his 
indefatigable exertions and representations that the Eoyal 
Gardens at Kew were raised to the position of the first in 
the world, and that collectors were sent to the West Indies, 
the Cape Colonies, and Australia, to send home living plants 
and seeds, and herbaria, for the Eoyal Gardens. He kept 
Francis Bauer (who, and his brother Ferdinand, were the most 
accomplished botanical artists of the century) at Kew con- 


stantly occupied in making drawings of Australian and other 
plants, keeping him in liberal pay, and leaving him a legacy 
in his will. 

He was the first to bring indiarubber into notice, and 
early advocated the cultivation of tea in India. He estab- 
lished botanic gardens in Jamaica, St. Vincent, and Ceylon, 
besides giving invaluable support to Colonel Kyd in the 
foundation of the garden at Sibpur, near Calcutta. 

He was a keen agriculturist, and amongst his very few 
published writings one is on Blight Mildew and Eust, 
another on the introduction of the Potato, and a third on 
the Apple Aphis. The Horticultural Society was founded 
in 1804, and Banks is named as one of the persons to 
whom the Charter was granted in 1809. The esteem in 
which he was held by this Society is shown by their electing 
him an honorary member, and by their instituting, after his 
death, a Banksian medal. 

Services of an international character were rendered by 
him when, in the course of war, the collections of foreign 
naturalists had been captured by British vessels ; on no less 
than eleven occasions were they restored to their former 
owners through the direct intervention of Banks with the 
Lords of the Admiralty and Treasury. The disinterestedness 
of such a course will be at once understood when it is 
remembered that these collections, some of them of inestim- 
able value (now at the Jardin des Plantes at Paris), would 
otherwise have contributed to the aggrandisement of his 
own magnificent museum. " He even sent as far as the 
Cape of Good Hope to procure some chests belonging to 
Humboldt ; and it is well known that his active exertions 
liberated many scientific men from foreign prisons. He 
used great exertions to mitigate the captivity of the unfor- 
tunate Flinders, and it was principally by his intercession 
that our Government issued orders in favour of La Perouse " 
(Weld's History of the Eoyal Society). 

Great as his services to science are known to have been, 
these will never be fully realised till his correspondence in 
the British Museum and elsewhere shall have been thor- 



oughly searched. That they were not confined to natural 
history is evident. He was an assiduous promoter of the 
Association for the Exploration of Tropical Africa, and it 
was under his auspices that Mungo Park, Clapperton, and 
others were sent out. He was one of a committee to 
investigate the subject of lightning conductors. His letters 
to Josiah Wedgwood show his keen appreciation not only 
of the work of the great potter, but of his other ingenious 
contrivances ; among the mass of papers left by him on his 
death was an illustrated dissertation on the history and 
art of the manufacture of porcelain by the Chinese. He 
took a deep interest in the coinage, and was in close com- 
munication with Matthew Boulton on questions of minting. 
On applying for information on this latter point to Dr. 
Eoberts- Austen, that gentleman informed the editor that, 
though not officially an officer of the Mint, Banks had 
probably served on some departmental or Parliamentary 
commissions charged with mint questions ; and further, 
that he had presented the mint with a really fine library, 
embracing all the books it possessed relating to numismatics 
and coinage questions generally, together with a valuable 
collection of coins. In reference to this, the editor has also 
found, on looking over some Banksian MS. in the British 
Museum, that these included a draft code of regulations for 
the conduct of the officers of the Mint. 

His interest in manufactures was also constant ; could 
his letters be brought together, a flood of light would thereby 
be thrown upon the progress of arts and sciences in Europe 
during his long tenure of the presidency of the Royal Society. 

As an instance of his zeal for science may be mentioned 
the interest he took in Sir Charles Blagden's experiments to 
determine the power of human beings to exist in rooms 
heated to an excessive temperature. Sir Joseph Banks was 
one of the first who plunged into a chamber heated to the 
temperature of 260 Fahr., and was taken out nearly ex- 
hausted. It may be mentioned that Sir Francis Chantrey 
once remained two minutes in a furnace at a temperature of 


For a man of his distinction the dignities which were 
conferred upon him by royal favour seem disproportionate. 
He was created a Baronet in 1781, a Knight of the Bath 
in 1*795, and two years subsequently was sworn of the 
Privy Council. In 1802 he was chosen one of the eight 
foreign members of the French Acade"mie des Sciences, in 

To the last his house, library, and museum were open 
to all scientific men, of whatever nationality, and the ser- 
vices of his successive librarians, Solander, Dryander, and 
Brown, cannot be over-estimated. His Thursday breakfasts 
and Sunday soirees in Soho Square made his house the centre 
of influential gatherings of an informal kind ; curiosities 
of every description were brought by visitors and exhibited, 
and each new subject, book, drawing, animal, plant, or 
mineral, each invention of art or science, was sure to find 
its way to Sir Joseph's house. It was at one of these 
parties that he strongly recommended the acquisition of the 
Linnean Library and collections to James Edward Smith, 
a young Norwich physician, and an ardent botanist. This 
was the turning-point of Smith's life, and led to the founda- 
tion of the Linnean Society, which held its meetings for 
many years, during the lifetime of Eobert Brown, in Banks's 
house in Soho Square, where the Linnean collections were 
placed previous to the Society's removal to apartments 
provided by Government in Burlington House. 

Sir Joseph Banks became latterly a great martyr to the 
gout, " which grew to such an intensity as to deprive him 
entirely of the power of walking, and for fourteen or fifteen 
years previous to his death, he lost the use of his lower 
limbs so completely as to oblige him to be carried, or 
wheeled, as the case might require, by his servants in a 
chair : in this way he was conveyed to the more dignified 
chair of the Koyal Society, and also to the [Eoyal Society] 
Club the former of which he very rarely omitted to attend, 
and not often the latter ; he sat apparently so much at his 
ease, both at the Society and in the Club, and conducted the 
business of the meetings with so much spirit and dignity, 


that a stranger would not have supposed that he was often 
suffering at the time, nor even have observed an infirmity, 
which never disturbed his uniform cheerfulness. 

" As the gout increased his difficulty of locomotion, Sir 
Joseph found it convenient to have some spot to retire to 
in the neighbourhood of London, and fixed upon a small 
villa near Hounslow Heath, called Spring Grove, consisting 
of some woods and a good garden laid out with ornamental 
shrubs and flower-beds, and neatly kept under the inspection 
of Lady and Miss Banks " (his sister) [Barrow, loc. cit. 
pp. 40-42]. Since his death the building has been pulled 
down and replaced by a mansion now in the possession of 
A. Pears, Esq. 

The last occasion on which Banks took the chair at the 
Eoyal Society was on 16th March 1820. In May, declining 
health led him to announce his resignation of the Presidency, 
which he had held for over forty-one years ; but the universal 
desire which was expressed, both by the Council of the 
Society and by the king himself, that he would retain the 
office, induced him to withdraw his resignation. He died, 
however, very shortly afterwards at Spring Grove, on the 
19th June 1820, leaving a widow but no lineal issue. 

He was buried at Heston, Middlesex, in which parish 
Spring Grove is situated. The church has since been 
rebuilt, and now covers the spot where he was buried. A 
tablet with a simple inscription marks as nearly as possible 
the place where his body lies. By his will he expressly 
desires that his body be interred in the most private manner 
in the church or churchyard of the parish in which he 
should happen to die, and entreats his dear relatives to 
spare themselves the affliction of attending the ceremony, 
and earnestly requests that they will not erect any monu- 
ment to his memory. 

In July of the same year the Council of the Eoyal Society 
resolved to erect a full-length marble statue of Sir Joseph 
Banks, to be executed by Mr. (afterwards Sir Francis) 
Chantrey. A sum of 2000 was subscribed, of which 525 
was paid to the sculptor, the surplus being devoted to an 


engraving of the statue, copies of which were distributed to 
various institutions and individuals. The monument now 
stands in the Natural History Department of the British 

Amongst public notices of Sir Joseph Banks after his 
death, the best known are Cuvier's Eloge delivered before the 
French Academy, and Sir Everard Home's Hunterian Oration. 

The lease of his house in Soho Square, and an annuity 
of 200, were left to Eobert Brown, to whom were also 
bequeathed his library and natural history collections, with 
reversion to the British Museum. On condition of being 
appointed keeper of the botanical department, Brown made 
over the whole in 1828, reserving to himself the fullest use of 
the collections during his life, and accepting the duty of pre- 
paring a Life of Banks, as told in the preface to this " Journal." 

Considering the eminence of Banks's position in the 
scientific world, it is surprising to find how little he wrote. 
The following are the most important of his publications 

" A short Account of the cause of the Disease in Corn, called by 
farmers the Blight, the Mildew, and the Bust." Nicholson, Journ. x. 
(1805), pp. 225-234; Tilloch, Phil. Mag. xxi. (1805), pp. 320-327; 
Ann. Sot. ii. (1806), pp. 51-61. Also as a separate publication, 1805, 
8vo, 15 pp. 1 tab. ; and reprinted in Curtis, Practical Observations on 
the British Grasses, 1824, pp. 151-166, t. 1. 

"An attempt to ascertain the time when the Potato (Solanum 
tuberosum) was first introduced into the United Kingdom ; with 
some Account of the Hill Wheat of India" (1805). Hortic. Soc. 
Trans, i. 1812, pp. 8-12. 

" Some Hints respecting the proper Mode of inuring tender Plants 
to our Climate," I.e. pp. 21-25. 

" On the Forcing-houses of the Romans, with a List of Fruits culti- 
vated by them now in our Gardens," I.e. pp. 147-156. 

"On ripening the second Crop of Figs that grow on the new 
Shoots," I.e. pp. 252-254. 

"Notes relative to the first appearance of the Aphis laniffera, or 
the Apple Tree Insect, in this Country " (1812), I.e. ii. pp. 162-170. 

" Observations on the nature and formation of the Stone incrusting 
the Skeletons which have been found in the Island of Guadeloupe, 
with some account of the origin of those Skeletons" (1818). Trans. 
Linn. Soc. xii. (1818), pp. 53-61. 



He also published various papers in Arcliceologia. 

To the labours of J. Dryander (who succeeded Solander 
as Banks's secretary and librarian, and who was on his death 
succeded by Kobert Brown in 1810) is due the publication 
of the catalogue of Banks's library. It is entitled " Cata- 
logus Bibliothecse historico-naturalis Josephi Banks . . . 
auctore Jono Dryander/' 5 vols. 8vo, 1798-1800. In it 
are enumerated the works of upwards of 6000 authors, with 
analyses of their writings, arranged according to the subjects 
treated. This work has never been superseded. 

The name of Banks is commemorated botanically in the 
Australian genus Banksia, so named in his honour by the 
younger Linnaeus. 


This sketch cannot be concluded without some notice of 
the career of Banks's first librarian, and companion during 
Cook's voyage, Daniel Carl Solander. He was the son of 
a country clergyman, and born in Norrland, Sweden, on the 
28th February 1*736. He studied at the University of 
Upsala, took the degree of M.D., and became a pupil of 
Linnaeus, who recommended him to go to England. He 
left Upsala in 1759, being warmly commended by his 
botanical professor to the eminent naturalist John Ellis, 
F.E.S., but was detained in the south of Sweden by sickness 
for nearly a year, only reaching our shores in July 1760. 
In the following October he was strongly recommended by 
Peter Collinson, F.E.S., to the notice of the trustees of the 
British Museum, but no permanent employment was the 
result of this appeal. In the autumn of 1762 Linnaeus pro- 
cured for him the offer of the botanical professorship at St. 
Petersburg, but after consultation with his English friends, 
Solander decided to decline the appointment, for "many 
reasons," which are not given. The chief one seems to have 
been that at this time he was engaged in classifying and 
cataloguing in the British Museum, with prospect of advance- 
ment. A few months later he was appointed assistant in 


that institution, and in 1764 elected a Fellow of the Eoyal 
Society. It was in 1 7 6 7 that he first made the acquaintance 
of Banks, who, when he had in the following year resolved to 
accompany Cook to the Pacific, induced Solander to go with 
him. His situation in the Museum was kept open for him, a 
deputy being put in to act during his absence with Banks. 

An extract from a letter from Ellis to Linnseus gives a 
clear idea of the arrangements made for the journey : 

I must now inform you that Joseph Banks, Esq., a gentleman of 
6000 per annum estate, has prevailed on your pupil, Dr. Solander, 
to accompany him in the ship that carries the English astronomers to 
the new-discovered country in the South Sea l . . . where they are to 
collect all the natural curiosities of the place, and, after the astronomers 
have finished their observations on the transit of Venus, they are to 
proceed under the direction of Mr. Banks, by order of the Lords of 
the Admiralty, on further discoveries. . . . No people ever went to 
sea better fitted out for the purpose of natural history, nor more 
elegantly. They have got a fine library of natural history : they have 
all sorts of machines for catching and preserving insects ; all kinds of 
nets, trawls, drags, and hooks for coral fishing ; they have even a 
curious contrivance of a telescope by which, put into the water, you 
can see the bottom at a great depth, where it is clear. They have 
many cases of bottles with ground stoppers, of several sizes, to preserve 
animals in spirits. They have the several sorts of salts to surround the 
seeds ; and wax, both bees'-wax and that of the Myrica ; besides, there 
are many people whose sole business it is to attend them for this very 
purpose. They have two painters and draughtsmen, several volunteers 
who have a tolerable notion of natural history ; in short, Solander 
assured me this expedition would cost Mr. Banks 10,000. . . . 
About three days ago I took my leave of Solander, when he assured 
me he would write to you and to all his family, and acquaint them 
with the particulars of this expedition. I must observe to you that 
his places are secured to him, and he has promises from persons in 
power of much better preferment on his return. Everybody here 
parted from him with reluctance, for no man was ever more beloved, 
and in so great esteem with the public from his affable and polite 

On his return from the South Seas, Dr. Solander was 
installed under Banks's roof in Soho Square as his secretary 
and librarian ; and at the British Museum he was advanced 
to the post of under-librarian. A short time after his return 

1 The Society Islands. 


the project of a second voyage was mooted, as already 
mentioned on p. xxvii. How this idea was received by 
Linnaeus, the following extracts from his correspondence 
with Ellis will show : 

I have just read, in some foreign newspapers, that our friend 
Solander intends to revisit those new countries, discovered by Mr. 
Banks and himself, in the ensuing spring. This report has affected 
me so much as almost entirely to deprive me of sleep. How vain 
are the hopes of man ! Whilst the whole botanical world, like myself, 
has been looking for the most transcendent benefits to our science, 
from the unrivalled exertions of your countrymen, all their matchless 
and truly astonishing collection, such as has never been seen before, 
nor may ever be seen again, is to be put aside untouched, to be thrust 
into some corner, to become perhaps the prey of insects and of 

I have every day been figuring to myself the occupations of my 
pupil Solander, now putting his collection in order, having first 
arranged and numbered his plants, in parcels, according to the places 
where they were gathered, and then written upon each specimen its 
native country and appropriate number. I then fancied him throw- 
ing the whole into classes, putting aside and naming such as were 
already known; ranging others under known genera, with specific 
differences, and distinguishing by new names and definitions such as 
formed new genera, with their species. Thus, thought I, the world 
will be delighted and benefited by all these discoveries ; and the 
foundations of true science will be strengthened, so as to endure 
through all generations ! 

I am under great apprehension that, if this collection should 
remain untouched till Solander's return, it might share the same 
lot as Forskal's Arabian specimens at Copenhagen. . . . Solander 
promised long ago, while detained off the coast of Brazil, in the early 
part of his voyage, that he would visit me after his return, of which 
I have been in expectation. If he had brought some of his specimens 
with him, I could at once have told him what were new ; and we 
might have turned over some books together, and he might have been 
informed or satisfied upon many subjects, which after my death will 
not be so easily explained. 

I have no answer from him to the letter I enclosed to you, which 
I cannot but wonder at. You, yourself, know how much I have 
esteemed him, and how strongly I recommended him to you. 

By all that is great and good, I entreat you, who know so well the 
value of science, to do all that in you lies for the publication of these 
new acquisitions, that the learned world may not be deprived of 
them. . . . 

Again the plants of Solander and Banks recur to my imagination. 


When I turn over FeuilleVs figures, I meet with more extraordinary 
things among them than anywhere else. I cannot but presume 
therefore, as Peru and Chili are so rich, that in the South Sea 
Islands, as great abundance of rarities have remained in concealment, 
from the beginning of the world, to reward the labours of our 
illustrious voyagers. I see these things now but afar off. ... 

When I ponder upon the insects they have brought, I am over- 
whelmed at the reported number of new species. Are there many 
new genera ? . . . 

When I think of their Mollusca, I conceive the new ones must be 
very numerous. These animals cannot be investigated after death, as 
they contract in dying. Without doubt, as there were draughtsmen 
on board, they would not fail to afford ample materials for drawing. 

Do but consider, my friend, if these treasures are kept back, what 
may happen to them. They may be devoured by vermin of all 
kinds. The house where they are lodged may be burnt. Those 
destined to describe them may die. Even you, the promoter of every 
scientific undertaking in your country, may be taken from us. All 
sublunary things are uncertain, nor ought anything to be trusted to 
treacherous futurity. I therefore once more beg, nay I earnestly 
beseech you, to urge the publication of these new discoveries. I con- 
fess it to be my most ardent wish to see this done before I die. To 
whom can I urge my anxious wishes but to you, who are so devoted 
to me and to science ? 

Remember me to the immortal Banks and Solander. 

The writer clearly recognised the dangers of that dilatori- 
ness which evidently formed a marked feature in the 
character of Solander ; he had repeatedly complained of 
his pupil's neglect in writing, not only to him, but to his 
mother. This was the subject of reproach even before the 
great expedition, but it seems to have been intensified after- 
wards, for after Solander's death, letters from his mother 
addressed to him were found actually unopened ! 

The closing scene came with startling suddenness. Sir 
Joseph Banks was out of town, and to that fact we owe the 
following details from the pen of Dr. (afterwards Sir Charles) 
Blagden, an intimate acquaintance. 

Wednesday, 8th May 1782, 2.30 P.M. 

Soon after breakfast this morning Dr. Solander began to find him- 
self much indisposed, and in a short time the symptoms of a palsy of 
the left side began to appear. I was conversing with him at the 
time, and as soon as the stroke became certain, dispatched a messenger 


for Mr. Hunter, whilst Professor Linnaeus l went to call Dr. Heberden 
and Dr. Pitcairne. All these gentlemen have been with him, and the 
necessary remedies prescribed. I dare not say what the event will be, 
but am not without hopes, notwithstanding the extreme danger with 
which you know all paralytic strokes are attended. It was found 
impossible , to move him ; Lady Banks has therefore been so kind as 
to order an apartment for him in her house, and I shall quit him as 
little as possible, particularly not to-night. You may judge of the 
affliction of every one here. I am so much affected myself that I 
know not what to say to you, but that I am most affectionately yours, 


It is a striking testimony of the regard in which 
Solander was held, that the foremost physicians of the 
day should be summoned to his side at the moment of 
attack, and that the son and successor of his botanical 
preceptor should be one of the messengers in search of 
medical aid. All efforts were unavailing to prolong his 
life, for he died at Soho Square on the 16th of the same 

He is stated to have been a short, fair man, somewhat 
stout, with small eyes, and a good-humoured expression of 
countenance. The genus Solandra is his botanical memorial, 
named after him by his fellow-countryman, Swartz. A full- 
length portrait of him, by an unknown artist, in the posses- 
sion of the Linnean Society (to which body it was given by 
E. A. Salisbury), is here reproduced. 

1 Carl von Linn6, son of the eminent naturalist. 


ANSON, George, Lord (1697-1762), entered the navy in 1712, and 
was in 1740 sent to the Pacific in command of a squadron. Reaching 
his destination by way of South America, he captured the " Spanish 
galleon," and brought it to England, returning by the Cape of Good 
Hope in 1744. His " Voyage round the World " was published in 
1748. In 1 7 46 he was appointed to the command of the Channel Fleet, 
and was raised to the peerage in 1747. In 1751 he became First 
Lord of the Admiralty, having virtually performed all the duties of 
that office for two or three years previously. 

BASTER, Job (1711-75), a Dutch naturalist, who published many 
works on natural history, including a treatise on the classification of 
plants and animals (1768), and " Opuscula subseciva" (1759-65), 
consisting of miscellaneous observations on animals and plants, re- 
ferring more especially to seeds and embryos. 

BIRON, C., author of " Curiosites de la Nature et de 1'Art, apportees 
de deux Voyages des Indes, en Occident, 1698-99 ; en Orient, 1701-2 ; 
avec une Relation abregee des deux Voyages" (1703). 

BOUGAINVILLE, Louis Antoine de (1729-1811), was successively 
lawyer, soldier, secretary to the French Embassy in London, and 
officer under Montcalm in Canada. In 1765 he persuaded the in- 
habitants of St. Malo to fit out an expedition to colonise the Falkland 
Islands, but upon these being claimed by the Spaniards, Bougainville 
was sent out in 1766, in command of the frigate Boudeuse, with a 
consort, to transfer them to the latter country. After accomplishing 
this mission he proceeded through the Straits of Magellan and fell in 
with Otahite (to which he gave the name of Cyth&re, but which had 
been previously seen by Quiros and Wallis), the Navigators, and the New 
Hebrides (Quiros' Terra del Espiritu Santo). Endeavouring to steer 
due west at about the 15th degree of south latitude, he was, when 
still out of sight of land, brought up by reefs (outside the Great 


Barrier Reef). Turning northwards he sailed, by the Louisiade Archi- 
pelago and New Guinea, to the Moluccas, returning to France in 1769 
via Batavia and Mauritius. 

Bougainville was accompanied on this voyage by a naturalist, 
Philibert Commerson, whose servant, Jean Bary, passed for a man until 
her sex was recognised by the Tahitians. Otourrou, a Tahitian whom 
Bougainville took with him to France, died of small-pox at Mada- 
gascar while being conveyed back to his native country. The genus 
Bougainvillea was so named by Commerson in honour of the navigator, 
who was the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe. Bougain- 
ville afterwards commanded various vessels in the American War. 

BRISSON, Mathurin Jacques (1723-1806), French naturalist and 
physicist, author of "Le regne animal" (1756), and " Ornithologie " 
(1760), and various works on physics. 

BROSSE or BROSSES, Charles de (1709-77), first President of the 
Parliament of Burgundy, author of "Histoire des Navigations aux 
Terres Australes " (1756). 

BROWNE, Patrick (1720?-! 790), a physician who studied natural 
history, more particularly botany, and after a voyage to the West 
Indies published the "Civil and Natural History of Jamaica" (1756). 
He also compiled more or less local catalogues of birds, fishes, and 

BUFPON, Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de (1707-88), French 
naturalist and writer. Upon being appointed Director of the King's 
Garden at Paris, in 1739, he conceived the idea of compiling a natural 
history of creation, and devoted the following fifty years of his life to 
carrying out this project, with the help of other naturalists. His 
"Histoire naturelle" (published at various periods from 1749 to 1788) 
treats of the theory of the earth, nature of animals, man, viviparous 
quadrupeds, birds, and minerals. The task was continued after his 
death by Lacepede. 

BYRON, Vice- Admiral John (1723-86), was the second son of the 
fourth Lord Byron, and grandfather of the poet. He accompanied 
Anson on his voyage to the Pacific as a midshipman on board the 
Wager, which was wrecked on the coast of Chile in 1741 : some years 
later he published the details of his adventures (1768). In 1764 he 
was appointed to the Dolphin, with orders to explore the South Seas. 
He left England in company with the Tamar, and, passing through 
the Straits of Magellan, stood across the Pacific, but following a 
course already known, made no discoveries of any importance. With 
a great deal of scurvy on board he reached the Ladrones, and returned 
home in 1766. [Otahite was rediscovered on the Dolphin's second 


voyage by Wallis, q.v.] Byron was afterwards (1769-72) Governor 
of Newfoundland, and had command of the West Indian Fleet in 

CANTON, John (1718-72), F.R.S., electrician, was the first English- 
man who successfully repeated Franklin's experiments. He invented 
an electroscope and an electrometer. The Copley Medal of the Royal 
Society was awarded him in 1751. 

COOK, Captain James (1728-79), the son of an agricultural 
labourer, was born at Marton in Yorkshire. He served several years 
in the merchant service, but volunteered for the navy in 1755, enter- 
ing on the Eagle under Captain Hugh Palliser. It was owing to the 
influence of the latter that Cook, who had previously surveyed the St. 
Lawrence river, was afterwards appointed " Marine Surveyor to the 
coast of Newfoundland and Labrador." He published his results as 
directions for navigating these coasts (1766-68). 

The Admiralty having at the instance of the Royal Society resolved 
to despatch an expedition to observe the transit of Venus in the Pacific, 
Cook was appointed Lieutenant and placed in command of the En- 
deavour (1768) : this voyage is described in the following pages. 

On his return in 1771, Cook was immediately promoted to the 
rank of Commander and sent again to the Pacific with the Resolution 
and Adventure, the primary object of the expedition being to verify 
the existence or non-existence of an antarctic continent. He left 
Plymouth in 1772, and proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, whence 
sailing in a south-easterly direction, he was the first to cross the 
Antarctic circle. After revisiting New Zealand, Otahite, and New 
Zealand again (when the Resolution and Adventure parted company), 
he sailed to the south, and reached his highest latitude (7l*10) in 
January 1774. After touching at Easter Island he explored the New 
Hebrides and discovered New Caledonia, whence he returned home by 
New Zealand, Cape Horn, and South Georgia, reaching Plymouth in 
July 1775. 

Apart from the geographical discoveries, and finally setting at rest 
the question of a habitable southern continent, this voyage was, even 
more than the first, remarkable for the fact that Cook kept his crew 
absolutely free from scurvy, and lost only a single man during the 
whole of the three years. Cook's demonstration of the possibility of 
maintaining the health of crews during long periods is one of his 
greatest titles to fame. He gave an account of his methods for the 
prevention of scurvy to the Royal Society in 1776, and the Copley 
Medal was in the same year awarded to him, in recognition of his 
services to the maritime world and to humanity in this connection. 

Having been promoted to the rank of Captain, he offered to take 
command of an expedition to the North Pacific in search of a North- 
west Passage. He left England on this, his third voyage, in July 


1776, in the Resolution, his consort, the Discovery, joining him at the 
Cape of Good Hope. The two ships visited Van Dieinen's Land and 
New Zealand, and spent 1777 among the islands of the South Pacific. 
Going north, he discovered the Sandwich Islands (1778), and sur- 
veyed the west coast of North America as far as Icy Cape (thus passing 
through the Behring Straits). Thence, finding further advance im- 
possible, he returned to the Sandwich Islands, anchoring in Karakakoa 
Bay. The natives at first proved friendly, but quarrels afterwards 
arose, and Cook, going on shore to recover a stolen boat, was killed 
(14th February 1779), no attempt at a rescue being made. 

COWLEY, Captain, buccaneer, fell in with " Pepys " Island, which 
was afterwards recognised to be one of the Falklands, about the year 
1683. He sailed round the world in 1683-86, keeping a Journal 
from which the account of his voyage in Callander's " Terra Australis 
Cognita " is taken. 

DALRYMPLE, Alexander (1737-1808), went out as a writer in the 
East India Company's service in 1752, and undertook several voyages 
for the Company, particularly to the Sulu Islands and to China. In 
1767 he published an "Account of Discoveries in the South Pacific 
Ocean before 1764," and later a "Historical Collection of South Sea 
Voyages" (1770-71), besides pamphlets on Indian affairs. He was 
appointed the first Hydrographer to the Admiralty in 1795, but was 
dismissed in 1808, and died the same year. 

D AMPLER, William (1652-1715), buccaneer, captain in the navy, 
and hydrographer, made several voyages to the South Seas. In one 
of these he left Virginia in 1683 and went by way of South America 
to the East Indies, where he spent some time in trading. He re- 
turned to England in 1691 and published his "Voyage Round the 
World " (1697). On a later voyage he sailed under directions from the 
Admiralty along the northern coast of New Holland and visited New 
Guinea (1699-1701). His narrative of this expedition, entitled 
"Voyage to New Holland in the year 1699" (published 1703-9), is 
remarkable for the information it contains on the natural history, etc., 
of Australia. He was again in the South Seas in 1703-7 and in 
1708, upon which last occasion he rescued Alexander Selkirk, whom 
he had himself left there on the former voyage, from the island of 
Juan Fernandez. 

"DOLPHIN," the first vessel in the English navy sheathed with 
copper : 1st voyage, see Byron; 2nd voyage (to Otahite), see Wallis. 

EDWARDS, George, F.R.S. (1694-1773), naturalist, Librarian to the 
Royal College of Physicians. He was the author of a "History of 
Birds" (1743-64), one volume of which is remarkable for being dedi- 
cated to God. 


FERNANDEZ, Juan (died 1576), Spanish navigator, appears to have 
been constantly employed as pilot off the coasts of South America. 
He discovered the islands bearing his name about 1572, and in 1576 
reported another large island or continent, which has not been 

FOTHERGILL, John, M.D., F.R.S. (1712-80), was a Quaker, and the 
first graduate of Edinburgh to be admitted as a licentiate of the 
College of Physicians (1744). He was greatly interested in botany, 
and possessed a magnificent botanical garden at Upton, near Stratford, 
where he kept many draughtsmen. He also made large collections of 
shells and insects. His " Hortus Uptonensis " was published amongst 
his "Works" after his death in 1783-84. 

FRE"ZIER, Ame'dee Frangois (1682-1773), engineer and traveller, 
born at Chambe'ry, was descended from the Scotch Frasers. He was 
sent out by the French king in 1711 to examine the Spanish colonies 
in South America, and on his return in 1714 published his "Relation 
d'un Voyage de la Mer du Sud aux cotes du Chili et du Perou" 
(1716). He was afterwards Director of Fortifications of Brittany, and 
was the author of several works on architecture. 

HASSELQUIST, Fredrik (1722-52), Swedish naturalist and pupil of 
Linnaeus. He spent three years (1749-52) travelling in Palestine 
and Egypt, and made large collections of fishes, reptiles, insects, plants, 
and minerals, studying also Arab manuscripts, coins, and mummies. 
He died at Smyrna, and his collections passed into the hands of 
Linnaeus, who published Hasselquist's journal and observations under 
the title of " Iter Palestinum " (1757). 

HISTOIRE des Navigations aux Terres Australes, see Brosse. 

HULME, Nathaniel, F.R.S. (1732-1807), was Physician to the 

LE MAIRE, Jacob (died 1616), Dutch navigator, left Holland in 
company with William Cornelissen Schouten (died 1625) in 1615, in 
the Concorde, with the view of determining the position of the southern 
point of South America, in defiance of the regulations of the Dutch 
East India Company, which attempted to close the routes to India, 
either by the Cape of Good Hope or the Straits of Magellan. Le 
Maire and Schouten discovered Staten Island and Cape Horn, which 
they doubled, and thence proceeded to Batavia, passing along the 
north-east coast of New Guinea. On their arrival at Batavia, their 
ship was seized and they were sent to Holland, but Le Maire died 
before reaching Europe. Schouten published an account of the 
voyage in 1618. 


L'HERMITE, Jacques (died 1624), Dutch Admiral, was sent out in 
1623 by the States- General in command of eleven vessels (the Nassau 
fleet, so named after Prince Maurice of Nassau) to attack Peru. The 
expedition did not meet with much success, and L'Hermite himself 
died at Callao. He appears to have previously served under the Dutch 
East India Company. 

MARCGRAV, George (1610-44), German physician and traveller, 
accompanied Piso (q.v.) and the Prince of Nassau to Brazil in 1636, 
where he travelled for six years. The results of his discoveries are 
embodied with those of Piso in the " Historia naturalis Brasilia " 
(1648). He afterwards went to the coast of Guinea and there died. 

MASKELYNE, Nevil, F.R.S. (1732-1811), was sent by the Royal 
Society to St. Helena to observe the transit of Venus in 1761, 
but the phenomenon was obscured by clouds. He was after- 
wards Astronomer-Royal (1765) ; and to him we owe the "Nautical 
Almanac," the publication of which he superintended for forty-five 
years. In 1769 he observed the transit of Venus from Greenwich. 
Later, in 1784, Maskelyne strongly supported Dr. Charles Hutton 
against Sir Joseph Banks, then President, during the dissensions in 
the Royal Society (see p. xxx.) 

M 'BRIDE, David (1726-78), medical writer, advocated the use of 
fresh wort or infusion of malt as a preventive of scurvy at sea, a 
specific adopted by Banks on this voyage. It was, however, soon after 
superseded by Lind's lemon juice. 

NARBROUGH, Admiral Sir John (1640-88), was sent out to the 
South Seas in 1669. Passing through the Straits of Magellan, he 
sailed as far as Valdivia and then returned home. He was present at 
the battle of Solebay (1672), and after some years of service, died at 
Saint Domingo, whither he had gone, at the instance of the Govern- 
ment, to search for treasure. 

NASSAU FLEET. See L'Hermite. 

OLDENLAND, Henry Bernhard, Dutch naturalist, author of " Catalogi 
duo plantarum Africanarum " in the "Thesaurus Zeylanicus" (1737). 

OSBECK, Pehr (1723-1805), Swedish naturalist and traveller. 
He studied natural history, and on the recommendation of Linnaeus 
was appointed chaplain to a vessel of the Swedish East India Company, 
in which he visited China, and, on the return voyage, Ascension. 
Osbeck published his observations under the title of " Journal of a 
voyage to the East Indies, 1750-52, with observations on the natural 
history, language, manners, and domestic economy of foreign peoples " 


AUG. 25 Nov. 13, 1768 

Departure Birds and marine animals Species of Dagysa Madeira Dr. 
Heberden Madeira mahogany Wine - making Vines Carts Vege- 
table productions Convent Chapel wainscoted with bones General 
account of Madeira Peak of Teneriffe Marine animals Cross the 
Equator Climate of tropics Luminous animals in the water Trade 
winds Brazilian fishermen Sargasso weed Rio harbour. 

25th August 1768. Plymouth. After having waited in 
this place ten days, the ship and everything belonging to 
me being all that time in perfect readiness to sail at a 
moment's warning, we at last got a fair wind ; and this day 
at three o'clock in the evening weighed anchor and set sail, 
all in excellent health and spirits, perfectly prepared (in 
mind at least) to undergo with cheerfulness any fatigues or 
dangers that may occur in our intended voyage. 

26th. Saw this evening a shoal of those fish which are 
particularly called Porpoises by the seamen, probably the 
Delphinus Phoccena of Linnaeus, as their noses are very blunt. 

2Sth. In some sea water which was on board to season 
a cask, observed a very minute sea -insect, which Dr. 
Solander described by the name of Podura marina. Took 
several specimens of Medusa pelagica, whose different motions 
in swimming amused us very much ; among the appendages 
to this animal we found also a new species of Oniscus. We 
took also another animal, quite different from any we had 
ever seen ; it was of an angular figure, about three inches 



long and one thick, with a hollow passing quite through it ; 
on one end was a brown spot, which might be the stomach 
of the animal. Four of these, the whole number that we 
took, adhered together when taken by their sides ; so that 
at first we imagined them to be one animal : but upon being 
put into a glass of water, they very soon separated, and 
swam briskly about. 

31 st. Observed about the ship several of the birds called 
by the seamen Mother Carey's Chickens, Procellaria pelagica, 
Linn., which were thought by them to be a sure presage of 
a storm, as indeed it proved. 

2nd September. The casting-net brought up two kinds of 
animals, different from any before taken. They came up in 
clusters, both sorts indifferently in each cluster, although 
there were much fewer of a horned kind than of the other : 
they seemed to be two species of one genus, but are not at 
all reducible to any hitherto described. 

3rd. We were employed all day in describing the 
animals taken yesterday : we found them to be of a new 
genus, and of the same as that taken on the 28th of August ; 
we called the genus Dagysa, from the likeness of one species 
to a gem. 

4th. Employed in fishing with the casting -net. We 
were fortunate in taking several specimens of Dagysa saccata 
adhering together, sometimes to the length of a yard or 
more, and shining in the water with very beautiful colours ; 
but another insect we took to-day was possessed of more 
beautiful colouring than anything in nature I have ever seen, 
hardly excepting gems. It is of a new genus, called Carcinium, 
of which we took another species, having no beauty to boast 
of ; but the first, which we called opalinum, shone in the water 
with all the splendour and variety of colours that we observe 
in a real opal. It lived in a glass of salt water, in which it 
was put for examination, several hours, darting about with 
great agility, and at every motion showing an almost infinite 
variety of changeable colours. Towards the evening of this 
day a new phenomenon appeared : the sea was almost 
covered with a small species of crab (Cancer depurator, Linn.), 

SEPT. 1768 

floating upon the surface of the water, and moving with toler- 
able agility, as if the surface and not the bottom of the 
ocean were their proper station. 

5th. I forgot to mention yesterday that two birds were 
caught in the rigging, which had probably come from Spain, 
as we were not then distant more than five or six leagues 
from that country. This morning another was caught and 
brought to me, but so weak that it died in my hand almost 
immediately. All three were of the same species, and not 
described by Linnaeus ; we called them Motacilla velificans, 
as they must be sailors who would venture themselves 
aboard a ship which is going round the world. To balance 
to some extent our good fortune, now become too prevalent, 
a misfortune happened this morning, almost the worst which 
our enemies could have wished. The morning was calm, 
and Eichmond employed in searching for what should 
appear on the surface of the water ; a shoal of Dagysce was 
observed, and he, eager to take some of them, threw the 
casting-net, fastened only to his wrist ; the string slipped 
from him, and the net at once sunk into the deep, never- 
more to torment its inhabitants. This left us for some time 
entirely without a resource; plenty of animals came past 
the ship, but all the nets were in the hold, stowed under so 
many other things that it was impossible even to hope that 
they may be got out to-day at least. However, an old hoop- 
net was fastened to a fishing-rod, and with it one new 
species of Dagysa was caught : it was named lobata. 

6th. Towards the middle of the day the sea was almost 
covered with Dagysce of different kinds, among which two 
entirely new ones were taken (rostrata and strumosa), but 
neither were observed hanging in clusters, as most of the 
other species had been ; whether from the badness of the 
new machine, or the scarcity of the animals, I cannot say. 

It is now time to give some account of the genus of 
Dagysa, of which we have already taken six species, all 
agreeing very well in many particulars, but chiefly in this 
very singular one, that they have a hole at each end, com- 
municating by a tube often as large as the body of the 


animal, by the help of which they swim with some degree 
of activity when separated from each other. Several sorts 
are most generally seen joined together, gemmce more par- 
ticularly, which adhere in irregularly-shaped clusters of some 
hundreds ; in the midst of these were generally found a few 
specimens of cornuta, from which circumstance we may 
judge that they are very nearly allied. It seems singular 
that no naturalist should have taken notice of these animals, 
as they abound so much where the ship now is, not twenty 
leagues from the coast of Spain. From hence, however, 
great hopes may be formed that the inhabitants of the deep 
have been but little examined, and as Dr. Solander and my- 
self will have probably greater opportunity in the course of 
this voyage than any one before us, it is a very encouraging 
circumstance that so large a field of natural history has 
remained almost untrod until now, and that we may be 
able from this circumstance alone (almost unthought of 
when we embarked in the undertaking) to add considerable 
lights to the science which we so eagerly pursue. 

This evening a large quantity of Carcinium opalinum, 
which may be called the opal insect, came under the ship's 
stern, making the very sea appear of uncommon beauty, their 
colours appearing with vast brightness even at the depth of 
two or three fathoms, though they are not more than three 
lines long and one broad. 

*lt~h. On examining the Dagysce which were taken yester- 
day several small animals were found lodged in the hollow 
parts of their bodies, and some in the very substance of 
their flesh, which seems to be their food, as many of the 
Dagysce were full of scars, which had undoubtedly been the 
lodgment of these animals some time before. Upon a 
minute inspection they proved to be animals not to be 
classed under Linnseus's genera, though nearly related to 
Oniscus, from which circumstance the name of Onidium 
was given to the new genus, and to them was added an 
animal taken on the 28th of August, and mentioned by 
the name of Oniscus macrophthalmus. 

In one particular these insects differ from any hitherto 


described, and in that they all three agree, viz. in having 
two eyes joined together under one common membrane 
without the least distinction or division between them, which 
circumstance alone seems a sufficient reason for constituting 
a new genus. 

10th. To-day for the first time we dined in Africa, and 
took leave of Europe for heaven alone knows how long, 
perhaps for ever ; that thought demands a sigh as a tribute 
due to the memory of friends left behind, and they have it, 
but two cannot be spared, 'twould give more pain to the 
sigher than pleasure to those sighed for. 'Tis enough that 
they are remembered : they would not wish to be too much 
thought of by one so long to be separated from them, and 
left alone to the mercy of winds and waves. 

12th. At ten to-night came to an anchor in Funchiale 
Bay, Madeira. 

13th-18th. The product boat l (as it is called by English 
sailors) from the officers of health, whose leave must be 
obtained before any ship's crew can land, came on board about 
eleven, and we immediately went on shore in the town 
of Funchiale, the capital of the island, situate in latitude 
32 40' N. It is so called from the fennel which grows in 
plenty upon the rocks in its neighbourhood, and is called 
funcho in Portuguese. Here we immediately went to the 
house of the English consul, Mr. Cheap, one of the first 
merchants in the place, where we were received with un- 
common marks of civility, he insisting upon our taking 
possession of his house, and living entirely with him during 
our stay, which we did, and were by him furnished with 
every accommodation that we could wish for. Leave was 
procured by him for us to search the island for whatever 
natural productions we might find worth noticing ; people 
were also employed to procure for us fish and shells ; horses 
and guides were obtained for Dr. Solander and myself 
to carry us to any part of the island which we might 
choose to visit. But our very short stay, which was only 
five days, made it impossible to go to any distance ; so we 

1 i.e. the pratique boat. 


contented ourselves with collecting as much as we could in 
the neighbourhood of the town, never going above three 
miles from it during our whole stay. 

The season of the year was undoubtedly the worst 
for both plants and insects, being that of the vintage, 
when nothing is green in the country, except just on the 
verge of small brooks, by which their vines are watered ; 
we made shift, however, to collect specimens of several 
plants, etc. 

The five days which we remained upon the island were 
spent so exactly in the same manner that it is by no means 
necessary to divide them. I shall therefore only say that 
in general we got up in the morning, went out on our 
researches, returned to dine, and went out again in the 
evening. On one day, however, we had a visit from the 
Governor, of which we had notice beforehand, and were 
obliged to stay at home ; so that this unsought honour lost 
us very nearly the whole day, a very material part of the 
short time we were allowed to stay upon the island. "We, 
however, contrived to revenge ourselves upon his Excellency 
by means of an electrical machine which we had on board ; 
for, upon his expressing a desire to see it, we sent for it 
ashore, and shocked him fully as much as he chose. 

While here we were much indebted to Dr. Heberden, 
the chief physician of the island, and brother to the physician 
of that name at London. He had for many years been an 
inhabitant of the Canaries, and of this island, and had 
made several observations, chiefly philosophical ; some, how- 
ever, were botanical, describing the trees of the island. Of 
these he immediately gave us a copy, together with such 
specimens as he had in his possession, and indeed spared 
no pains to get for us living specimens of such as could be 
procured in flower. 

We tried here to learn what species of wood it is which 
has been imported into England, and is now known to cabinet- 
makers by the name of Madeira mahogany, but without 
much success, as we could not learn that any wood had 
been exported from the island by that name. The wood, 


however, of the tree called here Vigniatico, Laurus indicus, 1 
Linn., bids fair to be the thing, it being of a fine grain and 
brown like mahogany, from which it is difficult to distinguish 
it, as is well shown at Dr. Heberden's house, where, in a 
book-case, mgniatico and mahogany were placed close by 
each other, and were only to be known asunder by the 
first being of not quite so dark a colour as the other. 

As much of the island as we saw showed evident signs 
of a volcano having some time or other possibly produced 
the whole, for we saw no one piece of stone which did not 
clearly show signs of having been burnt, some very much, 
specially the sand, which was absolutely cinders. Indeed, 
we did not see much of the country, but we were told that 
the whole resembled the specimen we saw of it. 

When first approached from seaward the land has a very 
beautiful appearance, the sides of the hills being entirely 
covered with vineyards almost as high as the eye can 
distinguish. This gives a constant appearance of verdure, 
although at this time nothing but the vines remain green, 
the grass and herbs being entirely burnt up, except near 
the rills by which the vines are watered and under the 
shade of the vines themselves. But even there very few 
species of plants were in perfection, the greater part being 
burnt up. 

The people here in general seem to be as idle, or rather 
uninformed, a set, as I ever yet saw ; all their instruments, 
even those with which their wine, the only article of trade 
in the island, is made, are perfectly simple and unimproved. 
In making wine the grapes are put into a square wooden 
vessel, of dimensions depending upon the size of the vine- 
yard to which it belongs, into which the servants get 
(having taken off their stockings and jackets), and with 
their feet and elbows squeeze out as much of the juice as 
they can ; the stalks, etc., are then collected, tied together 
with a rope, and put under a square piece of wood which is 
pressed down by a lever, to the other end of which is 
fastened a stone that may be raised up at pleasure by a 
1 Persea indica,' Spreng. 


screw. By this means and this only they make their wine, 
and by this probably Noah made his when he had newly 
planted the first vineyard after the general destruction of 
mankind and their arts, although it is not impossible that 
he might have used a better, if he remembered the methods 
he had seen before the flood. 

It was with great difficulty that some (and not as yet all) 
of them were persuaded not long ago to graft their vines, 
and by this means bring all the fruit of a vineyard to be of 
one sort. Formerly the wine had been spoiled by various 
inferior kinds of vines, which were nevertheless suffered to 
grow, and taken as much care of as the best, because they 
added to the quantity of the wine. Yet they were perfectly 
acquainted with the use of grafting, and constantly practised 
it on their chestnut trees, by which means they were brought 
to bear much sooner than they would have done had they 
been allowed to remain unimproved. 

Wheeled carriages I saw none of any sort or kind; 
indeed their roads are so intolerably bad, that if they had 
any they could scarcely make use of them. They have, 
however, some horses and mules wonderfully clever in 
travelling upon these roads, notwithstanding which they 
bring every drop of wine to town upon men's heads in 
vessels made of goat-skins. The only imitation of a carriage 
which they have is a board slightly hollowed in the middle, 
to one end of which a pole is tied by a strap of white 
leather, the whole machine coming about as near the perfec- 
tion of an European cart as an Indian canoe does to a boat ; 
with this they move the pipes of wine about the town. I 
suppose they would never have made use even of this had 
not the English introduced vessels to contain the wine, 
which were rather too large to be carried by hand, as they 
used to do everything else. 

A speech of their late Governor is recorded here, which 
shows in what light they are looked upon even by the 
Portuguese (themselves, I believe, far behind all the rest of 
Europe, except possibly the Spaniards). " It was very 
fortunate," said he, " that the island was not Eden, in which 


Adam and Eve dwelt before the fall, for had it been so, the 
inhabitants here would never have been induced to put on 
clothes ; so much are they resolved in every particular to 
follow exactly the paths of their forefathers." 

Indeed, were the people here only tolerably industrious, 
there is scarcely any luxury which might not be produced 
that either Europe or the Indies afford, owing to the great 
difference of climate observable in ascending the hills. This 
we experienced on a visit to Dr. Heberden, who lives about two 
miles from the town ; we left the thermometer when we set 
out at 74, and found it there 'at 66. The hills produce 
almost spontaneously vast quantities of walnuts, chestnuts, and 
apples, but in the town you find some few plants natives of both 
the Indies, whose nourishing state puts it out of all doubt, 
that were they taken any care of, they might have any quantity 
of them. Of such they have the banana (Musa sapientum, 
Linn.) in great abundance, the guava (Psidium pyriferum, 
Linn.) not uncommon, and the pine-apple (Bromelia Ananas, 
Linn.) of this I saw some very healthy plants in the provi- 
sion-garden, the mango (Mangifera indica, Linn.) one plant 
also of this in the same garden bearing fruit every year, and 
the cinnamon (Laurus Cinnamomum, Linn.) very healthy 
plants of which I saw on the top of Dr. Heberden's house 
at Funchiale, which had stood there through the winter 
without any kind of care having been taken of them. 
These, without mentioning any more, seem very sufficient to 
show that the tenderest plants might be cultivated here 
without any trouble ; yet the indolence of the inhabitants 
is so great, that even that is too much for them. Indeed, 
the policy here is to hinder them as much as possible 
from growing anything themselves except what they find 
their account in taking in exchange for corn, though the 
people might with much less trouble and expense grow 
the corn themselves. What corn does grow here (it is not 
much) is of a most excellent quality, large-grained and very 
fine. Their meat also is very good, mutton, pork, and beef 
more especially, which was agreed by all of us to be very 
little inferior to our own, though we Englishmen value ourselves 


not a little on our peculiar excellence in that production. 
The fat of this was white, like the fat of mutton, but the 
meat brown and coarse-grained as ours, though much 

The town of Funchiale is situated at the bottom of the 
bay, very ill-built, though larger than the size of the island 
seems to deserve. The houses of the better people are in 
general large, but those of the poorer sort very small, and 
the streets very narrow and uncommonly ill-paved. The 
churches here have abundance of ornaments, chiefly bad 
pictures, and figures of their favourite saints in laced clothes. 
The Convent of the Franciscans, indeed, which we went to 
see, had very little ornament ; but the neatness with which 
those fathers kept everything was well worthy of commenda- 
tion, especially their infirmary, the contrivance of which 
deserves to be particularly noticed. It was a long room ; 
on one side were windows and an altar for the convenience 
of administering the sacrament to the sick, on the other 
were the wards, each just capable of containing a bed, and 
lined with white Dutch tiles. To every one of these was a 
door communicating with a gallery which ran parallel to the 
great room, so that any of the sick might be supplied with 
whatever they wanted without disturbing their neighbours. 

In this convent was a curiosity of a very singular nature : 
a small chapel whose whole lining, wainscot and ceiling, was 
entirely composed of human bones, two large thigh bones 
being laid crossways, with a skull in each of the openings. 
Among these was a very singular anatomical curiosity : a 
skull in which one side of the lower jaw was perfectly and 
very firmly fastened to the upper by an ossification, so that 
the man, whoever he was, must have lived some time without 
being able to open his mouth ; indeed it was plain that a 
hole had been made on the other side by beating out his 
teeth, and in some measure damaging his jawbone, by which 
alone he must have received his nourishment. 

I must not leave these good fathers without mentioning 
a thing which does great credit to their civility, and at the 
same time shows that they are not bigots in their religion. 



We visited them on Thursday evening, just before their 
supper-time ; they made many apologies, that they could not 
ask us to sup, not being prepared ; " but," said they, " if you 
will come to-morrow, notwithstanding that it is a fast with 
us, we will have a turkey roasted for you." 

There are here besides friaries, three or four houses of 
nuns. To one of these (Saint Clara) we went, and indeed 
the ladies did us the honour to express great pleasure in 
seeing us there. They had heard that we were great 
philosophers, and expected much from us : one of the first 
questions that they asked was when it would thunder ; they 
then desired to know if we could put them in a way of find- 
ing water in their convent, of which it seems they were in 
want. Notwithstanding that our answers to their questions 
were not quite so much to the purpose as they expected, 
they did not at all cease their civilities ; for while we stayed, 
which was about half an hour, I am sure that there was not 
a fraction of a second in which their tongues did not go at 
an uncommonly nimble rate. 

It remains now that I should say something of the 
island in general, and then take my leave of Madeira till 
some other opportunity offers of visiting it again, for the 
climate is so fine that any man might wish it was in his 
power to live there under the benefits of English laws and 

The hills here are very high, much higher than any one 
would imagine ; Pico Euievo, the highest, is 5068 feet, 1 
which is much higher than any land that has been measured 
in Great Britain. The whole island, as I hinted before, has 
probably been the production of a volcano, notwithstanding 
which its fertility is amazing : all the sides of the hills 
are covered with vines to a certain height, above which 
are woods of chestnut and pine of immense extent, and 
above them forests of wild timber of kinds not known in 
Europe, which amply supply the inhabitants with whatever 
they may want. Among these, some there were whose 
flowers we were not able to procure, and consequently could 

1 6059 feet by more recent measurement. 


not settle their genera, particularly those called by the 
Portuguese mirmulano and pao branco, 1 both which, and 
especially the first, from the beauty of their leaves, promise 
to be a great ornament to our European gardens. 

The inhabitants here are supposed to number about 
80,000, and from the town of Funchiale (its custom- 
house I mean) the King of Portugal receives 20,000 a 
year, after having paid the Governor and all expenses of 
every kind, which may serve to show in some degree of 
what consequence this little island is to the Crown of 
Portugal. Were it in the hands of any other people in the 
world its value might easily be doubled from the excellence 
of its climate, capable of bearing any kind of crop, a cir- 
cumstance of which the Portuguese do not take the least 

The coin current here is entirely Spanish, for the balance 
of trade with Lisbon being in disfavour of this island, all the 
Portuguese money naturally goes there, to prevent which 
Spanish money is allowed to pass ; it is of three denomina- 
tions, pistereens, bitts, and half bitts, the first worth about 
a shilling, the second 6d., the third 3d. They have also 
copper Portuguese money, but it is so scarce that I did not 
in my stay there see a single piece. 2 

18tk. This evening got under weigh. 

20th. Took with the casting-net a most beautiful species 
of Medusa of a colour equalling, if not exceeding, the finest 
ultramarine ; it was described and called Medusa azurea. 

23rd. A fish was taken which was described and called 
Scomber serpens ; the seamen said they had never seen it 
before, except the first lieutenant, who remembered to have 
taken one before just about these islands. Sir Hans Sloane 3 
in his passage out to Jamaica also took one of these fish, 
and gives a figure of it (vol. i. t. i. f. 2). 

24th. This morning the Pike [of Teneriffe] appeared very 
plainly, and immensely high above the clouds, as may well 

1 Probably Apollonias canariensis, Nees ; and Oreodaphne fcetens, Nees. 

2 Here Banks has a list of 18 Madeiran fish and 299 plants. 

3 For notes on the naturalists and travellers mentioned throughout the 
Journal, see pp. xliii.-li. 


be imagined by its height, which Dr. Heberden of Madeira, 
who has been himself upon it, gave as 15,396 feet. 1 The 
Doctor also says that though there is no eruption of visible 
fire from it, yet that heat issues from the chinks near the top 
so strongly, that a person who puts his hand into these is 
scalded. From him we received, among many other favours, 
some salt which he supposes to be true natron or nitrum of 
the ancients, and some exceedingly pure native sulphur, 
both which he collected himself on the top of the mountain, 
where large quantities, especially of the salt, are found on 
the surface of the earth. 

25th. Wind continued to blow much as it has done, so 
we were sure we were well in the trade. Now for the first 
time we saw flying-fish, whose beauty, especially when seen 
from the cabin window, is beyond imagination, their sides 
shining like burnished silver. Seen from the deck they do 
not appear to such advantage, as their backs, which are dark- 
coloured, are then presented to view. 

27th. About one this morning a flying-fish, the first that 
had been taken, was brought into the cabin ; it flew aboard, 
chased, I suppose, by some other fish, or may be because he 
did not see the ship ; at breakfast another was brought, 
which had flown into Mr. Green the astronomer's cabin. 

2Stk. Three birds were to-day about the ship : a swallow, 
to all appearance the same as our European one, and two 
Motacillce ; about nightfall one of the latter was taken. 
About eleven a shoal of porpoises came about the ship, and 
the fizgig was soon thrown into one of them, but would not 

29th. Employed in drawing and describing the bird 
taken yesterday; called it Motacilla avida. While the 
drawing was in hand, it became very familiar, so much so 
that we had a brace made for it in hopes of keeping it alive ; 
as flies were in amazing abundance on board the ship, we 
had no fear but that the bird would have a plentiful supply 
of provision. 

About noon a young shark was seen from the cabin 

1 12,300 feet by more recent measurement. 


windows following the ship. It immediately took a bait 
and was hauled on board. It proved to be the Sgualus 
carcharias, Linn., and assisted us in clearing up much 
confusion, which almost all authors had made about that 
species. With it came on board four sucking-fish, Ucheneis 
remora, Linn., which were preserved in spirits. Although 
it was twelve o'clock before the shark was taken, we made 
shift to have a part of him stewed for dinner, and very 
good meat he was, at least in the opinion of Dr. Solander 
and myself, though some of the seamen did not seem to be 
fond of him, probably from some prejudice founded on the 
species sometimes, feeding on human flesh. 

30th. This evening another Motacilla avida was brought 
to us ; it differed scarcely at all from the first taken, except 
that it was somewhat larger ; its head, however, gave us 
some material, by supplying us with nearly twenty specimens 
of ticks, which differed but little from Acarus ricinus, Linn. ; 
it was, however, described, and called Acarus motacillce. 

1st October. Bonitos were in great plenty about the ship. 
We were called up early to see one that had been struck 
and found it to be the Scomber pelamis, Linn., a drawing 
being made of it. I confess, however, that I was a good 
deal disappointed, expecting to find the animal much more 
beautiful than it proved, though its colours were extremely 
lively, especially the blue lines on the back (which equalled 
at least any ultramarine), yet the name, and the accounts I 
had heard from all who had seen them, made me expect an 
animal of much greater variety of colour. This consisted 
merely of blue lines on the back, crossing each other, a 
changeable gold and purple on the sides, and white with 
black lines on the bottom of the sides and belly. After 
having examined and drawn the animal, we proceeded to 
dissect it, and in the course of the operation were much 
pleased by the infinite strength we observed in every part 
of him, especially the stomach, the coats of which were 
uncommonly strong, especially about the sphincter, or 
extremity by which the digested meat is discharged ; this 
I suppose is intended to crush and render useful the scales 


and bones of fishes which this animal must continually 
swallow without separating them from the flesh. From the 
outside of its scales we took a small animal which seemed 
to be a louse (if I may so call it), as it certainly stuck to 
him, and preyed upon the juices which it extracted by 
suction, probably much to his disquiet : it proved to be 
Monoculus piscinus, Linn. Baster has given a figure of it in 
his " Opera Subseciva," but has by some unlucky accident 
mistaken the head for the tail. Inside the fish were also 
found two animals which preyed upon him; one Fasciola 
pelami, Mss., in his very flesh, though near the membrane 
which covers the intestines ; the other Sipunculus piscium, 
Mss., in the stomach. 

2nd. This morning two swallows were about the ship, 
though we must now be sixty leagues at least from any land ; 
at night one of them was taken, and proved to be Hirundo 
domestica, Linn. 

4ith. I went out in a boat and took Dagysa strumosa, 
Medusa porpita, which we had before called azurea, Mimus 
volutator J and a Cimex, which runs upon the water here in the 
same manner as C. lacustris does in our ponds in England. 
Towards evening two small fish were taken under the stern ; 
they were following a shirt which was towing, and showed 
not the least signs of fear, so that they were taken with a 
landing-net without the smallest difficulty. They proved to 
be Balistes monoceros, Linn. 

*7th. Went out in the boat, and took what is called by 
the seamen a Portuguese man-of-war, Holothuria physalis,- 
Linn., also Medusa velella, Linn., Onidium spinosum, Mss., 
Diodon erinaceus, Mss., Dagysa mtrea, Mss., Helix ianthina, 
Linn., violacea, Mss., and Procellaria oceanica, Mss. The 
Holothuria proved to be one of the most beautiful 
sights I had ever seen ; it consisted of a small bladder, in 
shape much like the air-bladder of a fish, from the 
bottom of which descended a number of strings of bright 
blue and red, some three or four feet in length ; if touched, 

1 This cannot be identified. 

2 The Portuguese man-of-war is now known as Physalia, and is classed 
among the Ccelentemta. 


these stung the person who touched them in the same 
manner as nettles, only much more severely. On the top 
of this bladder was a membrane which he turned either one 
way or the other to receive the wind ; this was veined with 
pink, in an uncommonly beautiful manner; in short, the 
whole was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen 
among the mollusca, though many of them are beautiful. 

The floating shells, Helix ianthina 1 and violacea, from 
their particularity, also deserve mention. They are to be 
found floating on the top of the water by means of a small 
cluster of bubbles filled with air, composed of a tenacious 
slimy substance, not easily parting with its contents ; these 
keep them suspended on the surface of the water, and serve 
as a nidus for their eggs : it is probable that they never go 
down to the bottom, or willingly come near any shore, as 
the shell is of so brittle a, construction that few sea-water 
snails are so thin. 

Every shell contains within it about a teaspoonful of 
liquid, which it freely discharges on being touched ; this is 
of a most beautiful red purple colour, and easily dyes linen 
clothes ; it may be well worth inquiry whether or not this 
is the purpura 2 of the ancients, as the shell is certainly found 
in the Mediterranean. We have not yet taken a sufficient 
quantity of the shells to try the experiment, perhaps we 
shall soon. 

Procellaria oceanica differs very little from P. pelagica, 
Linn., but from his place of abode so far south, and some 
small difference in plumage, it is more than likely that he 
is different in species. 

9th. Found two new species of Lepas (vittata and midas) 
on the stern of the ship ; they were both sticking to the 
bottom, in company with L. anatifera, of which there was 
great abundance. 

IQth. Took plenty of Helix ianthina and some few of 
violacea. Shot the black-toed gull of Pennant ; it had not 

1 These two species are not Helices, but belong to the genus Ianthina. 

2 The purple of the ancients has since been proved to have been derived 
from a species of Murex or of Purpura. 


yet been described according to Linnseus's system, so called 
it Larus crepidatus. Its food here seems to be chiefly 
Helices, on account of its dung being of a lively red colour, 
much like that which was procured from the shells. 

1 2th. A shark, Sgualus carcharias, Linn., taken this morn- 
ing, and with it two pilot fish. I went out in the boat 
and took several blubbers. The pilot fish, Gasterosteus dwtor, 
Linn., is certainly as beautiful a fish as can be imagined ; it 
is of a light blue, with cross streaks of darker colour. It is 
wonderful to see them about a shark, swimming round it 
without expressing the least signs of fear ; what their 
motive for doing so is, I cannot guess, as I cannot find 
that they get any provision by it, or any other emolument, 
except possibly that the company of the shark keeps them 
free from the attacks of dolphins or other large fish of 
prey, who would otherwise devour them. 

The blubbers taken to-day were Beroe labiata and mar- 
supialis, Mas., the first of which made a pretty appearance 
in the water by reason of its swimmers, which line its side 
like fringes, and are of a fine changeable colour ; and 
Callirrhoe bivia, Mss., the most lifeless lump of jelly I 
have seen ; it scarcely seems to be possessed of life, but for 
one or two motions we saw it make. 

13th. A shark taken, but not one pilot fish attended 
it, which is rather uncommon, as they are seldom without 
a shoal of from ten to twenty. At noon I went in the 
boat, and took the Sallee man, PJiyllodoce velella, Linn., which 
is a sailor, but inferior in size to the Portuguese man-of- 
war, yet not without its beauty, chiefly from the charming 
blue of the lower side. Its sail is transparent, but not 
movable, so it trusts itself to the mercy of the winds, 
without being able to turn to windward, as the Portuguese 
man-of-war perhaps can. We saw several of these latter 
to-day, and observed many small fish under their tentacula, 
which seemed to shelter there, as if with its stings it could 
defend them from large enemies. 

1 5th. I had the good fortune to see a bird of the shear- 
water kind, which I shot ; it proved not to have been 



described. It was about as large as the common kind, but 
differed from it in being whiter, especially about the face. 
We named it Procellaria crepidata, as its feet were like 
those of the gulls shot last week, black on the outside, but 
white near the legs. A large shoal of fish were all this 
day under the ship's stern, playing about, but refusing to 
take bait. We contrived to take one of them with a fizgig : 
it was in make and appearance like a carp, weighing nearly 
two pounds. Its sides were ornamented with narrow lines, 
and its fins almost entirely covered with scales : called it 
Chcetodon cyprinaceus. 

16th. I had the opportunity of seeing a phenomenon I 
had never before met with, a lunar rainbow which appeared 
about ten o'clock, very faint, and almost or quite without 
colour, so that it could be traced by little more than an 
appearance resembling shade on a cloud. 

18^. This evening, trying, as I have often (foolishly no 
doubt) done, to exercise myself by playing tricks with two 
ropes in the cabin, I got a fall which hurt me a good deal, 
and alarmed me the more as the blow was on my head, and 
two hours after it I was taken with sickness at my stomach, 
which made me fear some ill consequence. 

1 9th. To-day, thank God, I was much better, and eased 
of all apprehensions. 

21st. To-day the cat killed our bird, Motacilla avida, which 
had lived with us ever since the 29th September entirely on 
the flies which it caught for itself: it was hearty and in 
high health, so that it might have lived a great while longer 
had fate been more kind. 

25th. This morning about eight o'clock we crossed the 
equinoctial line in about 33 W. from Greenwich, at the 
rate of four knots, which our seamen said was uncommonly 
good, the thermometer standing at 79. (The thermometers 
used in this voyage are two of Mr. Bird's making, after 
Fahrenheit's scale, and seldom differ by more than a degree 
from each other, and that only when they are as high as 
80, in which case the mean reading of the two instruments 
is set down.) This evening the ceremony of ducking the 


ship's company was performed, as is always customary on 
crossing the line, when those who have crossed it before 
claim a right of ducking all that have not. The whole 
of the ceremony I shall describe. 

About dinner-time a list was brought into the cabin 
containing the names of everybody and thing aboard the ship 
(in which the dogs and cats were not forgotten) ; to this 
was fixed a signed petition from the ship's company desiring 
leave to examine everybody in that list, that it might be 
known whether or not they had crossed the line before. 
This was immediately granted, everybody being called upon 
the quarter-deck and examined by one of the lieutenants 
who had crossed the line : he marked every name either to 
be ducked or let off as their qualifications directed. Captain 
Cook and Dr. Solander were on the black list, as were I 
myself, my servants, and dogs, for all of whom I was obliged 
to compound by giving the duckers a certain quantity of 
brandy, for which they willingly excused us the ceremony. 

Many of the men, however, chose to be ducked rather 
than give up four days' allowance of wine, which was the 
price fixed upon, and as for the boys they are always ducked, 
of course, so that about twenty-one underwent the ceremony. 

A block was made fast to the end of the main-yard, and 
a long line reved through it, to which three pieces of wood 
were fastened, one of which was put between the legs of the 
man who was to be ducked, and to this he was tied very 
fast, another was for him to hold in his hands, and the 
third was over his head, lest the rope should be hoisted too 
near the block, and by that means the man be hurt. When 
he was fastened upon this machine the boatswain gave the 
command by his whistle, and the man was hoisted up as 
high as the cross-piece over his head would allow, when 
another signal was made, and immediately the rope was let 
go, and his own weight carried him down ; he was then 
immediately hoisted up again, and three times served in 
this manner, which was every man's allowance. Thus 
ended the diversion of the day, for the ducking lasted until 
almost night, and sufficiently diverting it certainly was to 


see the different faces that were made on this occasion, some 
grinning and exulting in their hardiness, whilst others were 
almost suffocated, and came up ready enough to have com- 
pounded after the first or second duck, had such a proceeding 
been allowable. 

Almost immediately after crossing the tropic the air had 
sensibly become much damper than usual, though not 
materially hotter : the thermometer in general stood from 
80 to 82. The nearer we approached to the calms, the 
damper everything grew ; this was very perceptible even to 
the human body, but more remarkable was its effect upon 
all kinds of furniture. Everything made of iron rusted so 
fast that the knives in people's pockets became almost use- 
less, and the razors in cases did not escape ; all kinds of 
leather became mouldy, portfolios and trunks covered with 
black leather were almost white. Soon afterwards this 
mould adhered to almost everything ; all the books in my 
library became mouldy, so that they had to be wiped to 
preserve them. 

About this time we came into the calms, which we met 
with earlier than usual: the thermometer was then at 83, 
and we suffered from the heat and damp together. Bathing, 
however, kept me in perfect health, although many of the 
ship's company were ill of bilious complaints, which, how- 
ever, were but of short duration. This continued till we 
got the S.E. trade, when the air became cooler, but the 
dampness continued yet : to that I chiefly attribute the ill- 
success of the electrical experiments, of which I have written 
an account in separate papers, that the different experiments 
may appear at one view. 1 

The air, during the whole time since we crossed the 
tropic, and indeed for some time before, has been nearly of 
the same temperature throughout the twenty -four hours, the 
thermometer seldom rising more than a degree during the 
time the sun is above the horizon ; the cabin windows have 
been open without once being shut ever since we left Madeira. 

2 9 tk. This evening the sea appeared uncommonly beautiful, 
1 An account of these will be found at the end of the volume. 



flashes of light coming from it, perfectly resembling small 
flashes of lightning, and these so frequent that sometimes 
eight or ten were visible at the same moment ; the seamen 
were divided in their accounts, some assuring us that it pro- 
ceeded from fish, who made the light by agitating the salt 
water, as they called it, in their darting at their prey ; while 
others said that they had often seen them to be nothing 
more than blubbers (Medusae). This made us very eager to 
procure some of them, which at last we did by the help of the 
landing-net ; they proved to be a species of Medusa, which 
when brought on board appeared like metal violently heated, 
emitting a white light. On the surface of this animal was 
fixed a small Lepas of exactly the same colour and almost 
transparent, not unlike thin starch in which a small quantity 
of blue is dissolved. In taking these animals three or four 
species of crabs were also obtained, of which one very small 
kind gave fully as much light as a glow-worm in England, 
though the creature was not so large by nine-tenths. Indeed, 
the sea this night seemed to abound with light in an unusual 
manner, as if every inhabitant of it furnished its share ; as 
might have been the case, although none retained that pro- 
perty after being brought out of the water except the two 
above mentioned. 

30th. Employed in examining the things caught last 
night, which being taken by the light of our lamps (for the 
wind which blows in at the windows always open will not 
suffer us to burn candles) we could hardly then distinguish 
into genera, much less into species. We had the good 
fortune to find that they were all quite new, and named 
them Medusa pellucens, Lepas pellueens, Clio, Cancer fulgens, 
and Cancer amplectens, but we had the misfortune to lose 
two more species of crabs through the glass in which they 
were contained falling overboard. Two other species of 
crabs were taken, one of which was very singular. 

3 1 st. Find that the crabs taken yesterday were both 
new ; called them vitreus and crassicornis. 

5th November. That the trade blows toward the northward 
upon the coast of Brazil has been observed long ago, although 


I question whether our navigators are yet sufficiently apprised 
of it. Piso, in his Natural History of the Brazils, says that 
the winds along shore are constantly to the northward from 
October to March, and to the southward from March to 
October. Dampier also, who certainly had as much ex- 
perience as most men, says the same thing, advising ships 
outward bound to keep to the westward, where they are 
almost certain to find the trade more easterly than in mid- 
channel, where it is sometimes due south, or within half a 
point of it, as we ourselves experienced. 

6th. Towards evening the colour^ of the water was 
observed to change, upon which we sounded and found 
ground at thirty-two fathoms. The lead was cast three 
times between six and ten without finding a foot's difference 
in the depth or quality of the bottom, which was encrusted 
with coral. We supposed this to be the tail of a great shoal 
laid down in all our charts by the name of Abrolhos, on which 
Lord Anson struck soundings on his outward bound passage. 

*lth. About noon long ranges of a yellowish colour appear 
upon the sea, many of them very large, one (the largest) 
might be a mile in length and three or four hundred yards 
in width. The seamen in general affirmed roundly that 
they were the spawn of fishes, and that they had often seen 
the same appearance before. Upon taking up some of the 
water thus coloured, we found it to be caused by innumerable 
small atoms, each pointed at the end, and of a yellowish 
colour, none of them above a quarter of a line in length. 
In the microscope they appeared to be fasciculi of small 
fibres interwoven one within the other, not unlike the nidi 
of some Phryganece, which we call caddises ; what they were, 
or for what purpose designed, we could not even guess, nor 
so much as distinguish whether their substance was animal 
or vegetable. 

Sth. At daybreak to-day we made the land, which 
proved to be the Continent of South America, in latitude 
21 16'. About ten we saw a fishing-boat, whose occupants 
told us that the country formed part of the captainship of 
Espirito Santo. 


Dr. Solander and I went on board this boat, in which 
were eleven men (nine of whom were blacks), who all fished 
with lines. We bought the chief part of their cargo, consisting 
of dolphins, two kinds of large pelagic scombers, sea bream, 
and the fish called in the West Indies Welshman, for which 
they made us pay nineteen shillings and sixpence. We had 
taken Spanish silver with us, which we imagined was the 
currency of the country; we were therefore not a little 
surprised that they asked us for English shillings, and 
preferred two, which we by accident had, to the pistereens, 
though after some words they took them also. The business 
of the people seemed to consist in going a good distance 
from land and catching large fish, which they salted in bulk, 
in the middle of their boat, which was arranged for that 
purpose. They had about two quintals of fish, laid in salt, 
which they offered for sale for sixteen shillings, and would 
doubtless have taken half the money had we been inclined to 
buy them ; but fresh provisions were all we wanted, and 
the fresh fish which we bought served for the whole ship's 

Their provisions for the sea consisted of a cask of water 
and a bag of the flour of cassada, which they call Farinha , 0? ^ 
de Pao, or wooden flour, a very proper name for it, as indeed . 
it tastes more like powdered chips than anything else. ^*** ' 

Their method of drinking from their cask was truly 
primitive and pleased me much : the cask was large, as 
broad as the boat, and exactly fitted a place made for it in 
the ballast ; they consequently could not get at the bottom 
of it to put in a tap by which the water might be drawn 
out. To remedy this difficulty they made use of a cane 
about three feet long, hollow, and open at each end, this the 
man who wanted to drink desired his neighbour to fill for 
him, which he did by putting it into the cask, and laying 
the palm of his hand over the uppermost end, prevented 
the water from running out of the lower, to which the 
drinker applied his mouth, and the other man taking away 
his hand, let the liquor run into the drinker's mouth till he 
was satisfied. 


Soon after we came on board, a Sphinx was taken, 
which proved to be quite new, and a small bird, Tanagra 
Jacarini, Linn. ; it seemed, however, from Linnseus's descrip- 
tion, as well as Edwards' and Brisson's, that neither of them 
had seen the bird, which was in reality a Loxia nitens. 

The fish brought on board proved to be Scomber amia, 
S. falcatus, Coryphcena, Hippurus ?, Sparus pagrus and Scicena 
ruibens ; the second and last not being before described, we 
called them by these names. 

1 Qth. Species of seaweed now came floating by the ship. It 
proved to be Sargasso, Fucus natans, which is generally supposed 
to increase upon the surface of the sea in the same manner 
as duckweed (Lemna) does on fresh-water, without having 
any root ; this, however, plainly showed that it had been 
rooted in the coral rock on the bottom, as two specimens 
particularly had large lumps of the coral still adhering to 
them. Among the weed were some few animals, but 
scarcely worth mentioning: one Balistes, but quite a fry, 
so young that it was impossible to refer it to its species ; 
also a worm, which proved to be Nereis pelagica. 

12th. This morning we were abreast of the land, which 
proved, as we thought last night, to be the island just within 
Cape Frio, called in some maps the Isle of Frio. About 
noon we saw the hill called the Sugar Loaf, which is just by 
the harbour's mouth, but it was a long way off yet, so we 
had no hopes of reaching it this night. 

The shore from Cape Frio to this place has been one 
uninterrupted beach of the whitest colour I ever saw, which 
they tell me is a white sand. 

In the course of this evening we approached very near 
the land, and found it very cold, to our feelings at least : 
the thermometer at ten o'clock stood at 68^, which gave us 
hopes that the country would be cooler than we should 
expect from the accounts of travellers, especially M. Biron, 
who says that no business is done here from ten to two on 
account of the intense heat. 

13th. This morning the harbour of Rio Janeiro was 
right ahead, about two leagues off, but it being quite calm 


we made our approach very slowly. The sea was incon- 
ceivably full of small vermes, which we took without the 
least difficulty : they were almost all new, except Beroe 
labiata, Medusa radiata, fimbriata, crystallina, and a Dagysa. 
Soon after a fishing -boat came aboard and sold us three 
scombers, which proved to be new, and were called S. 
salmoneus. His bait was Clupea chinensis, of which we also 
procured specimens. 


Nov. 13 DEC. 7, 176$ 

Obstacles to landing Viceroy memorialised Boat's crew imprisoned 
Vegetation, etc. Ship fired at Leave Rio harbour Description of 
Rio Churches Government Hindrances to travellers Population 
Military Assassinations Vegetables Fruits Manufactures Mines 
Jewels Coins Fortifications Climate. 

13th November} As soon as we were well in the river, 
the captain sent his first lieutenant, Mr. Hicks, with a 
midshipman, to get a pilot : the boat returned, however, 
without the officers, but with a Portuguese subaltern. The 
coxswain informed us that the lieutenant was detained until 
the captain should go off. A ten-oared boat, containing 
about a dozen soldiers, then came off and rowed round the 
ship, no one in it appearing to take the slightest notice of 
us. A quarter of an hour later another boat came off, on 
board which was a Disembargador and a colonel of a Portu- 
guese regiment. The latter asked many questions, and at 
first seemed to discourage our stay, but ended by being 
extremely civil, and assuring us that the Governor would 
give us every assistance in his power. The lieutenant, he 
said, was not detained, but had not been allowed on shore 
on account of the practica, but that he would be sent on 
board immediately. 

I4:th. Captain Cook went on shore this morning. He 
returned with a Portuguese officer with him in the boat, 

1 This account, from the 13th to the 24th November inclusive, of the 
treatment of Captain Cook at Rio, has been much condensed from the 
original "Journal." 


also an Englishman, Mr. Forster, a lieutenant in the Portu- 
guese service. We were informed that we could not have 
a house nor sleep on shore, and that no person except the 
captain and such common sailors as were required on duty 
would be permitted to land ; we, the passengers, were par- 
ticularly objected to. In spite of this we attempted to go 
on shore in the evening, under excuse of a visit to the 
Viceroy, but were stopped by the guard-boat. The captain 
went ashore to remonstrate with the Viceroy, but the 
latter said that he was acting under the King of Portugal's 

1 5th and 16th. The captain vainly remonstrated with 
the Viceroy against our being forbidden to land, and par- 
ticularly against the sentinel placed in his boat, which was 
done, he was told, as an honour. 

17th. The captain and I drew up written memorials 
complaining of his Excellency's behaviour, which to us, as 
a King's ship, was almost a breach of duty. 

18th. Answers to our memorials were received: the 
captain is told that he had no reason to complain, as he 
had only received the usual treatment customary in all the 
ports of Brazil ; as for me, I am informed that as I have 
not brought proper credentials from the court at Lisbon, it 
is impossible that I can be permitted to land. 

19th. We sent answers to his Excellency's memorials. 
The lieutenant who took them had orders not to suffer a 
guard to be put into his boat ; the guard-boat let him pass, 
but the Viceroy, on hearing of it, ordered sentinels to be 
put on the boat. The lieutenant refused to go on board 
unless they were taken out, whereupon he was sent on 
board in a guard-boat and his crew arrested. He reported 
that the men in our pinnace had not made the least resist- 
ance, but that they had notwithstanding been treated very 
roughly, being struck by the soldiers several times. The 
guard brought back the letters unopened. 

This evening, by some mismanagement, our long-boat 
broke adrift, carrying with her my small boat. The yawl 
was sent after her, and managed to take her in tow, but in 


spite of all the efforts of the crew, the boats soon drifted 
out of sight. The yawl came back at two in the morning 
with the news that the other two boats were lost. "We 
were, however, glad to find the men safe, for they had been 
in considerable danger. 

20th. The yawl was sent ashore to seek assistance in 
recovering our long-boat : it returned with our pinnace and 
its crew, and a boat of the Viceroy, which had orders to 
assist us in searching for our boats. 

The crew of the pinnace declared that they had been 
confined in a loathsome dungeon, where their company was 
chiefly blacks who were chained. The coxswain purchased 
a better apartment for seven petacks (about as many 
English shillings). At dark the pinnace returned with both 
the boats and all their contents. 

2 1st. Letters arrived from the Viceroy; in mine he told 
me very politely that it was not in his power to permit me 
to go ashore. In the captain's he raises some doubts about 
our ship being a King's ship. 1 

23rd. An answer to the captain's last memorial accuses 
him of smuggling. 

24th. Dr. Solander went into the town as surgeon of the 
ship to visit a friar who had desired that the surgeon might 
be sent to him : he received civilities from the people. 

2Qth. I myself went ashore this morning before day- 
break, and stayed until dark night. While I was ashore I 
met several of the inhabitants, who were very civil to me, 
taking me to their houses, where I bought of them stock for 
the ship tolerably cheap : a middlingly fat porker for eleven 
shillings, a Muscovy duck for something under two shil- 
lings, etc. 

The country, where I saw it, abounded with vast variety 
of plants and animals, mostly such as had not been described 
by our naturalists, as so few have had an opportunity of 
coining here ; indeed, no one even tolerably curious that I 

1 "The build and general appearance of the Endeavour not being that of 
a man-of-war, the Portuguese authorities entertained suspicions regarding her 
true character, which is not altogether surprising, considering the times. " 
"VVharton's Cook, p. 22, footnote. 


know of has been here since Marcgrav and Piso about 
1640 ; so it is easy to guess the state in which the natural 
history of such a country must be. 

To give a catalogue of what I found would be a trouble 
very little to the purpose, as every particular is mentioned 
in the general catalogues of this place. I cannot, however, 
help mentioning some which struck me the most, and con- 
sequently gave me particular pleasure. These were chiefly 
the parasitic plants, especially Eenealmice (for I was not 
fortunate enough to see one Epidendrum) and the different 
species of Bromelia, many not before described. Karratas 
I saw here growing on the decayed trunk of a tree sixty feet 
high at least, which it had so entirely covered that the 
whole seemed to be a tree of Karratas. The growth of the 
Rhizopliora * also pleased me much, although I had before a 
very good idea of it from Rumphius, who has a very good 
figure of the tree in his Herb. Amboin. [v. iii. tab. 71, 72]. 
Add to these that the whole country was covered with the 
beautiful blossoms of Malpighiw, Bannisterice, Passiflorce, not 
forgetting Poinciana and Mimosa sensitiva, and a beautiful 
species of Clusia, of which I saw great plenty ; in short, the 
wildest spots here were varied with a greater quantity of 
flowers, as well as more beautiful ones, than our best- 
devised gardens ; a sight infinitely pleasing for a short 
time, though no doubt the eye would soon tire with a con- 
tinuance of it. 

The birds of many species, especially the smaller ones, 
sat in great abundance on the boughs, many of them covered 
with most elegant plumage. I shot Loxia, Irasiliensis, and 
saw several specimens of it. Insects also were here in 
great quantity, many species very fine, but much more 
nimble than our European ones, especially the butterflies, 
almost all which flew near the tops of the trees, and were 
very difficult to come at, except when the sea breeze blew 
fresh, which kept them low down among the trees where 
they might be taken. Humming-birds I also saw of one 
species, but could not shoot them. 

1 Mangrove tree. 


The banks of the sea, and more remarkably all the edges 
of small brooks, were covered with innumerable quantities of 
small crabs (Cancer weans, Linn.), one hand of which is very 
large. Among these were many whose two hands were 
remarkably small and of equal size ; these my black servant 
told me were the females of the other, and indeed all I 
examined, which were many, proved to be females, but 
whether they were really of the same species as C. weans, 
I cannot determine on so short an acquaintance. 

I saw but little cultivation, and small pains seemed to 
be taken with that. Most of it was grass land, on which 
were many lean cattle ; and lean they might well be, for 
almost all the species of grass which I observed here were 
creepers, and consequently so close to the ground that 
though there might be upon them a sufficient bite for 
horses or sheep, yet how horned cattle could live at all 
appeared extraordinary to me. 

I also saw their gardens, or small patches in which they 
cultivate many sorts of European garden stuffs, such as 
cabbages, peas, beans, kidney beans, turnips, white radishes, 
pumpkins, etc., but all much inferior to ours, except perhaps 
the last. They also grow water-melons and pine-apples, 
the only fruits which I have seen them cultivate ; the first 
are very good, but the pines were much inferior to those I 
have tasted in Europe ; I have hardly had one which could 
be reckoned of average quality, many were worse than some 
I have seen sent away from table in England, where nobody 
would eat them. Though in general very sweet, they have 
not the least flavour. In these gardens grow also yams, 
and mandihoca or cassada, which supplies the place of bread, 
for as our European bread corn will not grow here, all the 
flour they have is brought from Portugal at great expense, 
too great even for the middle-class people to purchase, much 
less the poorer. 

27 'tli. On the boats returning from watering, we were 
told that men had been sent out yesterday in search of some 
of our people who were ashore without leave ; we concluded 
that this referred either to Dr. Solander or myself, which 


made it necessary for us to go no more ashore while we 

1st December. We learnt that Mr. Forster had been taken 
into custody, charged with smuggling. The real cause, we 
believe, was that he had shown some countenance to his 
countrymen, as we heard at the same time that five or six 
Englishmen residing in the town, and a poor Portuguese, 
who used to assist our people in bringing things to the boats, 
had also been put into prison without any reason being 

2nd. This morning, thank God, we have got all we 
want from these illiterate, impolite gentry, so we got up 
our anchor and sailed to the point of Ilhoa dos Cobras, 
where we were to lie and wait for a fair wind, which should 
come every night from the land. A Spanish brig from 
Buenos Ayres with letters for Spain arrived about a week 
ago; her officers were received ashore with all possible 
civility, and allowed to take a house without the least 
hesitation. The captain, Don Antonio de Monte negro y 
Velasco, with great politeness offered to take our letters to 
Europe. Of this very fortunate circumstance we availed 
ourselves, and sent our letters on board this morning. 

5 1 h. We attempted to tow down with our boats, and 
came nearly abreast of Santa Cruz, their chief fortification, 
when to our great surprise the fort fired two shots at us, 
one of which went just over our mast; we immediately 
brought to, and sent ashore to inquire the reason ; we were 
told that no order had come down to allow us to pass, and 
that without such no ship was ever suffered to go below that 
fort. We were now obliged to send to town to know the 
reason of such extraordinary behaviour; the answer came 
back about eleven that it was a mistake, for the brigadier 
had forgotten to send the letter, which had been written 
some days ago. It was, however, sent by the boat, and we 
had leave to proceed. We now began to weigh our anchor, 
which had been dropped in foul ground, when we were fired 
upon, but it was so fast in a rock that it could not be got 
up while the land breeze blew, which to-day continued 


almost till four in the evening. As soon as the sea breeze 
came we filled our sails, and carrying the ship over the 
anchor, tripped it, but were obliged to sail back almost as 
far as we had towed the ship in the morning. 

This day and yesterday the air was crowded in an 
uncommon manner with butterflies, chiefly of one sort, of 
which we took as many as we pleased on board the ship ; 
their quantity was so large that at some times I may say 
many thousands were in view at once in almost any direc- 
tion you could look, the greater part of them far above our 

6th. No land breeze to-day, so we^are confined in our 
disagreeable situation without a possibility of moving ; 
many curses were this day expended on his Excellency. 

ith. Weighed and stood out to sea. As soon as we 
came to Santa Cruz the pilot desired to be discharged, and 
with him our enemy the guard-boat went off, so we were 
left our own masters, and immediately resolved to go ashore 
on one of the islands in the mouth of the harbour. There 
was a great swell, but we made shift to land on one called 
Kaza, on which we gathered many species of plants and 
some insects. Alstromeria Salsilla was here in tolerable 
plenty, and Amaryllis mexicana. We stayed until about 
four o'clock, and then came aboard the ship heartily tired, for 
the desire of doing as much as we could in a short time had 
made us all exert ourselves, though exposed to the hottest 
rays of the sun just at noon-day. 

Now we are got fairly to sea, and have entirely got rid 
of these troublesome people, I cannot help spending some 
time in describing them, though I was not myself once in 
their town ; yet my intelligence coming from Dr. Solander, 
and Mr. Monkhouse, our surgeon, a very sensible man, who 
was ashore every day to buy our provisions, I think cannot 
err much from truth. 

The town of Eio Janeiro, the capital of the Portuguese 
dominions in America, is situate on the banks of the river 
of that name, and both are so called, I apprehend, from the 
Eoman Saint Januarius, according to the Spanish and 



Portuguese custom of naming their discoveries from the 
saint on whose feast they are made. 

It is regular and well built after the fashion of Portugal, 
every house having before its window a lattice of wood, 
behind which is a little balcony. In size it is much larger 
than I could have expected, probably little inferior to any of 
our country towns in England, Bristol or Liverpool not 
excepted. The streets are all straight, intersecting each 
other at right angles, and have this peculiar convenience 
that the greater number lie in one direction, and are 
commanded by the guns of their citadel, called St. 
Sebastian, which is situate on the top of a hill overlooking 
the town. 

It is supplied with water from the neighbouring hills by 
an aqueduct upon two stories of arches, said in some places 
to be very high ; the water is conveyed into a fountain in 
the great square immediately opposite the governor's palace. 
This is guarded by a sentry, who has sufficient work to keep 
regularity and order among so many as are always in wait- 
ing here. "Water is laid on in some other part of the town, 
but how it is brought there I could not hear ; the water 
there is said to be better than the fountain, which is 
exceedingly indifferent, so much so as not to be liked by us, 
though we had been two months at sea, in which time our 
water was almost continually bad. 

The churches are very fine, with more ornaments even 
than those in Europe, and all the ceremonies of their 
religion are carried on with more show ; their processions 
in particular are very extraordinary. Every day one or 
other of the parishes has a solemn procession with all the 
insignia of its church, altar, and host, etc., through the 
parish, begging for whatever can be got, and praying in all 
forms at every corner of a street. While we were there 
one of the largest churches in the town was being rebuilt, 
and for that reason the parish had leave to walk through 
the whole city, which was done once a week, and much 
money collected for the carrying on of the edifice. At this 
ceremony all boys under a certain age were obliged to 


attend, nor were gentlemen's sons ever excused ; each of 
these was dressed in a black cassock with a short red 
cloak reaching half-way down the shoulders, and carried in 
his hand a lantern hung on the end of a pole about six or 
seven feet long. The light caused by this (for there were 
always at least 200 lanterns) is greater than can be imagined ; 
I myself, who saw it out of the cabin windows, called my 
messmates, imagining that the town was on fire. 

Besides this travelling religion, any one walking through 
the streets has opportunity enough to show his attachment 
to any saint in the calendar, for every corner and almost 
every house has before it a little cupboard in which some 
saint or other keeps his residence ; and lest he should not 
see his votaries in the night, he is furnished with a small 
lamp which hangs before his little glass window. To these 
it is very customary to pray and sing hymns with all the 
vociferation imaginable, as may be imagined when I say 
that I and every one in the ship heard it very distinctly 
every night, though we lay at least half a mile from the 

The government of this place seems to me to be much 
more despotic even than that of Portugal, although many 
precautions have been taken to render it otherwise. The 
chief magistrates are the Viceroy, the Governor of the town, 
and a Council, whose number I could not learn, but only 
that the viceroy had in this the casting vote. Without the 
consent of this council nothing material should be done, yet 
every day shows that the viceroy and governor at least, if 
not all the rest, do the most unjust things without consult- 
ing any one ; putting a man into prison without giving him 
a hearing, and keeping him there till he is glad at any rate 
to get out, without asking why he was put in, or at best, 
sending him to Lisbon to be tried there without letting his 
family here know where he is gone, as is very common. 
This we experienced while here, for every one who had 
interpreted for our people, or who had only assisted in buy- 
ing provisions for them, was put into jail, merely, I suppose, 
to show us their power. I should, however, except from 


this one John Burrith, an officer in their customs, a man 
who has been here thirteen years, and has become so com- 
pletely Portuguese that he is known by no other name 
than Don John ; he was of service to our people, though 
what he did was so clogged with a suspicious fear of offend- 
ing the Portuguese as rendered it disgustful. It is necessary 
for any one who should come here to know his character, 
which is mercenary, though contented with a little, as the 
present given to him demonstrated; it consisted of one 
dozen of beer, ten gallons of brandy, ten pieces of ship's 
beef, and as many of pork. This was what he himself 
asked for, and sent on board the keg for the spirit, and 
with this he was more than satisfied. 

They have a very extraordinary method of keeping 
people from travelling; to hinder them, I suppose, from 
going into any district where gold or diamonds may be 
found, as there are more of such districts than they can 
possibly guard. There are certain bounds beyond which 
no man must go ; these vary every month at the discretion 
of the viceroy, sometimes they are few, sometimes many 
leagues from the city. Every man must in consequence of 
this come to town to know where the bounds are, for if he 
is taken by the guards, who constantly patrol on their 
limits, he is infallibly put in prison, even if he is within 
them, unless he can tell where they are. 

The inhabitants are very numerous ; they consist of 
Portuguese, negroes, and Indians, aborigines of the country. 
The township of Eio, whose extent I could not learn, but 
was only told that it was but a small part of the capitanea, 
or province, is said to contain about 37,000 whites, and 
about 17 negroes to each white, which makes their number 
629,000, and the number of inhabitants in all 666,000. 
As for the Indians, they do not live in this neighbourhood, 
though many of them are always here doing the king's 
work, which they are obliged to do by turns, for small pay, 
and for which purpose they came from their habitations at 
a distance. I saw many of them, as our guard-boat was 
constantly rowed by them ; they are of a light copper colour, 


with long, lank, black hair. As to their policy, or manner 
of living when at home, I could not learn anything. 

The military here consist of twelve regiments of 
regulars, six Portuguese and six Creoles, and as many of 
provincial militia, who may be assembled upon occasion. 
To the regulars the inhabitants show great deference, for as 
Mr. Forster told me, if any of the people did not pull off 
their hats when they meet an officer, he would immediately 
knock them down, which custom renders the people remark- 
ably civil to strangers who have at all a gentlemanlike 
appearance. All the officers of these regiments are expected 
to attend three times a day at " Sala " or the viceroy's 
levee, where they formally ask for commands, and are 
constantly answered " there is nothing new." This policy 
is intended, as I have been told, to prevent them from going 
into the country, which it most effectually does. 

Assassinations are, I fancy, more frequent here than in 
Lisbon, as the churches still take upon themselves to give 
protection to criminals. One accident of the kind happened 
in the sight of S. Evans, our coxswain, a man whom I can 
depend upon. He saw two people talking together, to all 
appearance in a friendly manner, when one suddenly drew 
a knife, stabbed the other twice, and ran away pursued by 
some negroes who likewise saw the act. What the further 
event of this was I could not learn. 

Of the country I know rather more than of the town, as 
I was ashore one whole day. In that time I saw much 
cleared ground, but chiefly of an indifferent quality, though 
doubtless there is much that is very good, as the sugar and 
tobacco which is sent to Europe from hence plainly testify ; 
but all that I saw was employed in breeding cattle, of which 
they have great plenty, though their pastures are the worst 
I ever saw on account of the shortness of the grass. Con- 
sequently the beef sold in the market, though tolerably 
cheap, is so lean that an Englishman can hardly eat it. I 
likewise saw great plantations of Jatropha Manihot, which is 
called in the West Indies Cassada, and here Farinha de Pao 
or wooden meal, a very proper name, for the cakes they make 


with it taste as if they were made of sawdust. Yet it is 
the only bread which is eaten here, for European bread is 
sold at nearly the rate of a shilling a pound, and is exceed- 
ingly bad on account of the flour, which is generally heated 
in its passage from Europe. 

The country produces many more articles, but as I did not 
see them or hear them mentioned, I shall not set them down, 
though doubtless it is capable of producing anything that 
our West Indian islands do ; notwithstanding this they have 
neither coffee nor chocolate, but import both from Lisbon. 

Their fruits, however, I must not pass over in silence. 
Those that were in season during our stay were pine-apples, 
melons, water-melons, oranges, limes, lemons, sweet lemons, 
citrons, plantains, bananas, mangos, mamme-apples, acajou- 
apples and nuts, Jambosa, 1 another sort which bears a small 
black fruit, cocoanuts, palm nuts of two kinds, palm berries. 
Of these I must separately give my opinion, as no doubt it 
will seem strange to some that I should assert that I have 
eaten many of them, and especially pine-apples, better in 
England than any I have met with here. I begin, then, 
with the pines, as the fruit from which I expected the most, 
they being, I believe, natives of this country, though I can- 
not say I have seen or even heard of their being at this 
time wild anywhere in this neighbourhood. They are 
cultivated much as we do cabbages in Europe, or rather with 
less care, the plants being set between beds of any kind of 
garden stuff, and suffered to take their chance : the price of 
them in the market is seldom above, and generally under a 
vintain, which is three halfpence. 

All that Dr. Solander and myself tasted we agreed were 
much inferior to those we had eaten in England, though in 
general they were more juicy and sweet, yet they had no 
flavour, but were like sugar melted in water. Their melons 
are still worse, to judge from the single specimen we had, 
which was perfectly mealy and insipid ; their water-melons, 
however, are very good, for they have some little flavour or 
at least a degree of acid, which ours have not. Oranges are 

1 Eugenia jambos, Linn. 


large and very juicy ; we thought them good, doubtless better 
than any we had tasted at home, but probably Italy and 
Portugal produce as good, had we been there in the time of 
their being in perfection. Lemons and limes are like ours ; 
sweet lemons are sweetish and without flavour. Citrons 
have a faint sickly taste, otherwise we liked them. Mangoes 
were not in perfection, but promised to be a very fine fruit ; 
they are about the size of a peach, full of a yellow melting 
pulp, not unlike that of a summer peach, with a very grateful 
flavour; but the one we had was spoilt by a taste of turpentine, 
which I am told does not occur in the ripe fruit. Bananas 
are in shape and size like a small thick sausage, covered 
with a thick yellow rind, which is peeled off, and the fruit 
within is of a consistence which might be expected of a 
mixture of butter and flour, but a little slimy ; its taste is 
sweet with a little perfume. Acajou or casshew is shaped 
like an apple, but larger ; the taste is very disagreeable, 
sourish and bitter : the nut grows at the top of it. Plan- 
tains differ [from bananas] in being longer and thinner and 
less luscious in taste. Both these fruits were disagreeable 
to most of our people, but after some use I became tolerably 
fond of them. Mamme-apples are bigger than an English 
codlin, and are covered with a deep yellow skin : the pulp 
is very insipid, or rather disagreeable, and full of small 
round seeds covered with a thick mucilage, which continually 
clogs the mouth. Jambosa, is the same as I saw at 
Madeira, a fruit calculated more to please the smell than 
the taste ; the other kind is small and black, and resembles 
much our English bilberries in taste. Cocoanuts are so 
well known in England that I need only say I have tasted 
as good there as any I met with here. Palm nuts are of 
two sorts, one long and shaped like dates, the other round ; 
both are roasted before their kernels are eatable, and even 
then they are not so good as cocoanuts. Palm berries 
appear much like black grapes ; they are the fruit of Bactris 
minor, but have scarcely any pulp covering a very large stone, 
and what there is has nothing but a light acid to recommend 
it. There are also the fruits of several species of prickly 


pear, which are very insipid, and one peach also proved 
very bad. 

Though this country should produce many and very 
valuable drugs, we could not find any in the apothecary's 
shops except Pareira Brava and Balsam Capivi, both of 
which we bought at excessively cheap prices, and very good 
of the sort. I fancy the drug trade is chiefly carried on to 
the northward, as is that of dyeing woods ; at least we could 
hear nothing of them here. 

For manufactures, I know of none carried on here 
except that of cotton hammocks, which are used by the 
people to be carried about in, as we do sedan-chairs. 
These hammocks are made chiefly by the Indians. But 
the chief riches of the country come from the mines, which 
are situated far up the country ; indeed, no one could tell me 
how far, for even the situation of them is concealed as 
carefully as possible, and troops are continually employed 
in guarding the roads that lead to them ; so that it is 
next to impossible for any one to get a sight of them, 
except those who are employed there. No one at least 
would attempt it from mere curiosity, for everybody who is 
found on the road without being able to give a good account 
of himself is hanged immediately. From these mines a 
great quantity of gold undoubtedly conies, but it is purchased 
at a vast cost of lives; 40,000 negroes are annually im- 
ported on the king's account for this purpose, and notwith- 
standing this the year before last they died so fast that 
20,000 more were obliged to be drafted from the town of 

Precious stones are also found here in very large 
quantities, so large that they do not allow more than a 
certain quantity to be collected in a year. A troop of 
people is sent into the country where they are found, and 
ordered to return when they have collected a certain 
quantity, which they sometimes do in a month, more or less ; 
they then return, and after that it is death for any one to 
be found in the country on any pretence whatever until the 
following year. Diamonds, topazes of several different 


qualities, and amethysts, are the stones most usually found. 
Of the first I did not see any, but was told that the viceroy 
had by him large quantities, and would sell them on the 
King of Portugal's account, but in that case they would not 
be at all cheaper than those in Europe. I bought a few 
topazes and amethysts as specimens ; the former were 
divided into three sorts of very different value, called here 
pinga, d'agua qualidade premeiro and segondo, and chrystallos 
ormerillos. They were sold, large and small, good and bad 
together, by octaves, or the eighth part of an ounce : the 
first sort 4s. 9d., the second 2s. 4d., the third 3d. ; but 
it was smuggling in the highest degree to have anything to 
do with them. 

Formerly there were jewellers here who cut stones, but 
about fourteen months ago orders came from the King of 
Portugal that no more stones should be wrought here 
except on his account. The jewellers were immediately 
ordered to bring all their tools to the viceroy, and from that 
time to this have not been suffered to do anything for their 
support; there are, however, a number of slaves who cut 
stones for the King of Portugal. 

The coin current here is either that of Portugal, especially 
thirty-six shilling pieces, or coin made here, which is much 
debased, particularly the silver. These are called petacks, of 
which there are two sorts, one of less value than the other, 
easily distinguishable by the number of reis marked on 
them, but they are little used. They also have copper coins 
like those in Portugal of five and ten rey pieces. Two of 
the latter are worth three halfpence; forty petacks are worth 
thirty-six shillings. 

The harbour of Eio de Janeiro is certainly a very good 
one : the entrance is not wide, but the sea breeze which 
blows every morning makes it easy for any ship to go in 
before the wind, and when you get abreast of the town it 
increases in breadth prodigiously, so that almost any number 
of ships might lie in five or six fathoms of water with an 
oozy bottom. It is defended by many works, especially the 
entrance, where it is narrow, and where is their strongest 


fortification, Santa Cruz, and another opposite it. There is 
also a platform mounting about twenty-two guns, just under 
the Sugar-loaf on the seaside, but it seems entirely calculated 
to hinder the landing of an enemy in a sandy bay, from whence 
there is a passage to the back part of the town, which is 
entirely undefended, except that the whole town is open to 
the guns of the citadel, St. Sebastian, as I said before. 
Between Santa Cruz and the town are several small batteries 
of five or ten guns, and one fairly large one called Berga Leon. 
Immediately before the town is the Ilhoa dos Cobras, an 
island fortified all round, which seems incapable of doing 
much mischief owing to its immense size ; at least it would 
take more men to defend it, even tolerably, in case of an 
attack, than could possibly be spared from a town totally 
without lines or any defence round it. Santa Cruz, their 
chief fortification, on which they most rely, seems quite 
incapable of making any great resistance if smartly attacked 
by shipping. It is a stone fort, mounting many guns 
indeed, but they lie tier above tier, and are consequently 
very open to the attack of a ship which may come within 
two cable lengths or less ; besides, they have no supply of 
water but what they obtain from a cistern, in which they 
catch the rain, or, in times of drought, which they supply 
from the adjacent country. This cistern they have been 
obliged to build above ground, lest the water should become 
tainted by the heat of the climate, which a free access of air 
prevents ; consequently should a fortunate shot break the 
cistern, the defenders would be reduced to the utmost necessity. 
I was told by a person who certainly knew, and I 
believe meant to inform me rightly, that a little to the 
southward, just without the south head of the harbour, was 
a bay in which boats might land with all facility without 
obstruction, as there is no kind of work there, and that from 
this bay it is not above three hours' march to the town, 
which is approached from the back, where it is as defence- 
less as the landing-place ; but this seems incredible. Yet 
I am inclined to believe it of these people, whose chief 
policy consists in hindering people as much as possible from 


looking about them. It may therefore be, as my informer 
said, that the existence of such a bay has been but lately 
discovered ; indeed, were it not for that policy, I could 
believe anything of their stupidity and ignorance. As an 
example of this, the governor of the town, Brigadier-General 
Don Pedro de Mendozay Furtado, asked the captain of our 
ship whether the transit of Venus, which we were going to 
observe, were not the passing of the North Star to the 
South Pole, as he said he had always understood it to be. 

The river, and indeed the whole coast, abounds with 
greater variety of fish than I have ever seen ; seldom a day 
passed in which we had not one or more new species 
brought to us. Indeed the bay is the most convenient place 
for fishing I have ever seen, for it abounds with islands 
between which there is shallow water and proper beaches 
for drawing the seine. The sea also without the bay is full 
of dolphins, and large mackerel of several sorts, who very 
readily bite at the hooks which the inhabitants tow after 
their boats for that purpose. In short, the country is 
capable, with very little industry, of producing infinite 
plenty, both of necessaries and luxuries : were it in the 
hands of Englishmen we should soon see its consequence, as 
things are tolerably plentiful even under the direction of the 
Portuguese, whom I take to be, without exception, the laziest 
as well as the most ignorant race in the whole world. 

The climate here is, I fancy, very good. During our 
whole stay the thermometer was never above 83, but we 
had a good deal of rain, and once it blew very hard. I am 
inclined to think that this country has rather more rain 
than those in the same northern latitude are observed to 
have, not only from what happened during our short stay, 
but from Marcgrav, who gives us meteorological observations 
on this climate for three years. It appears that it rained 
here in those years almost every other day throughout the 
year, but more especially in May and June, when it rained 
almost without ceasing. 1 

1 Here follows, in the manuscript, a list of 316 plants collected by Banks 
near Rio de Janeiro. 


DEC. 8, 1768 JAN. 30, 1769 

Birds Christmas Insects floating at sea "Baye sans fond" Cancer 
gregarius Fucus giganteus Penguins Terra del Fuego Staten Island 
Vegetation Winter's bark, celery Fuegians Excursion inland 
Great cold and snow-storm Sufferings of the party Death of two men 
from cold Return to ship Shells Native huts General appearance 
of the country Animals Plants Scurvy grass, celery Inhabitants 
and customs Language Food Arms Probable nomadic habits Dogs 

8th December. Soon after daybreak a shark appeared, which 
took the bait very readily. While we were playing him under 
the cabin window he cast something out of his mouth which 
either was, or appeared very like, his stomach ; this it threw out 
and drew in again many times. I have often heard from seamen 
that they can do it, but never before saw anything like it. 

llth. This morning we took a shark, which cast up its 
stomach when hooked, or at least appeared to do so. It 
proved to be a female, and on being opened six young ones 
were taken out of her, five of which were alive, and swam 
briskly in a tub of water. The sixth was dead, and seemed 
to have been so for some time. 

13th. At night a squall, with thunder and lightning, 
which made us hoist the lightning chain. 

22nd. Shot one species of Mother Carey's chickens and 
two shearwaters ; both proved new, Procellaria gigantea and 
sandalecta. The Carey was one but ill-described by Linnaeus, 
Procellaria fregat a. While we were shooting, the people were 
employed in bending the new set of sails for Cape Horn. 


23rd. Killed another new Procellaria (cequorea) and 
many of the sorts we had seen yesterday. Caught HolotJiuria 
angustata, and a species of floating Helix, much smaller than 
those under the line, and a very small Phyllodoce vdella, some- 
times not so large as a silver penny, yet I believe it was the 
common species. In the evening I went out again, and 
killed an albatross, Diomedea exulans, measuring nine feet one 
inch between the tips of his wings, and struck one turtle 
(Testudo caretta). 

25th. Christmas Day : all good Christians, that is to say, 
all good hands, got abominably drunk, so that all through 
the night there was scarce a sober man in the ship. Weather, 
thank God, very moderate, or the Lord knows what would 
have become of us. 

2*7 th. The water has been discoloured all day, the depth 
being fifty fathoms. All this day I have noticed a singular 
smell from windward, though the people in the ship did not 
take notice of it ; it was like rotten seaweed, and at times 
very strong. 

During the whole of the gale which was blowing to-day 
we had many Procdlarice about the ship at some times 
immense numbers. They seemed perfectly unconcerned at 
the weather, or the height of the sea, but continued, often 
flapping, near the surface of the water as if fishing. 

29th. We observed now some feathers and pieces of reed 
floating by the ship, which made us get up the hoave-net to 
see what they were. Soon after some drowned Carabi and 
Phalccnce came past, which we took, as well as many other 
specimens, by means of the hoave. A large Sphinx was also 
taken (lat. 41 48'). 

30th. Water very white, almost of a clay colour : sounded 
forty-seven fathoms. Plenty of insects passed by this morning, 
many especially of the Carabi, alive, some Grrylli, and one 
Phalcena. I stayed in the main chains from eight till twelve, 
dipping for them with the hoave, and took vast numbers. 
In the evening many Phalcence and two Papiliones came flying 
about the ship : of the first we took about twenty, but the last 
would not come near enough, and at last flew away ; they 


appeared large. Both yesterday and to-day we also took 
several ichneumons flying about the rigging. All the sea- 
men say that we cannot be less than twenty leagues from the 
land, but I doubt Grylli, especially, coming so far alive, as 
they must float all the way upon the water. The sailors 
ground their opinion chiefly on the soundings, the bottom 
being continuously of sand of different colours, which, had 
we been nearer the land, would have been intermixed with 
shells. Their experience of this coast must, however, be 

Lat. 42 3 1/. A sea-lion was entered in the log-book as 
being seen to-day, but I did not see it. I saw, however, a 
whale, covered with barnacles as the seamen told me. It 
appeared of a reddish colour, except the tail, which was 
black like those to the northward. 

3 1st. No insects seen to-day ; the water changed to a 
little better colour. On looking over the insects taken 
yesterday I find thirty-one land species, all so like in size 
and shape to those of England that they are scarcely dis- 
tinguishable from the latter ; probably some will turn out 
identically the same. We ran among them 160 miles by 
the log, without reckoning any part of last night, though 
they were seen till dark. We must be now nearly opposite 
to " Baye sans fond," * near which place Mr. Dalrymple 
supposes that there is a passage quite through the continent 
of America. It would appear by what we have seen that 
there is at least a very large river, probably at this time 
much flooded, although it is doubtful whether even that 
could have so great an effect (supposing us to be twenty 
leagues from the land) as to render the water almost of a 
clay colour, and to bring insects such as Grylli and an 
Aranea, which never fly twenty yards. I lament much not 
having tasted the water at the time, which never occurred 
to me, but probably the difference of saltness would have 
been hardly perceptible to the taste, and my hydrostatic 
balance being broken I had no other method of trying it. 

2nd January 1769. Met with some small shoals of red 

1 Probably the Gulf of San Mathias. 


lobsters, which have been seen by almost every one passing 
through these seas ; they were, however, so far from colouring 
the sea red, as Dampier and Cowley say they do, that I may 
affirm that we never saw more than a few hundreds of them 
at a time. We called them Cancer gregarius. 

3rd. This evening many large bunches of seaweed floated 
by the ship, and we caught some of it with hooks. It was 
of immense size, every leaf four feet long, and the stalk 
about twelve. The footstalk of each leaf was swelled into 
a long air-vessel. Mr. Gore tells me that he has seen this 
weed grow quite to the top of the water in twelve fathoms ; 
if so, the swelled footstalks are probably the trumpet-grass 
or weed of the Cape of Good Hope. We described it, how- 
ever, as it appeared, and called it Fucus giganteus. 1 

6th. In some of the water taken up we observed a 
small and very nimble insect of a conical figure, which 
moved with a kind of whorl of legs or tentacula round the 
base of the cone. We could not find any Nereides, or 
indeed any other insect than this, in the water, but were 
not able to prove that he was the cause of the lightness of 
the water, which was much observed hereabouts, so we 
deferred our observations on the animal until the morning. 

*Iih. We now for the first time saw some of the birds 
called penguins by the southern navigators : they seem much 
of the size and not unlike Alca pica, but are easily known 
by streaks upon their faces and their remarkably shrill 
cry, different from that of any sea-bird I am acquainted 
with. We saw also several seals, but much smaller than 
those I have seen in Newfoundland, and black ; they gener- 
ally appeared in lively action, leaping out of the water 
like porpoises, so much so that some of our people were 
deceived by them, mistaking them for fish. 

During a gale which had lasted yesterday and to-day 
we observed vast numbers of birds about us. Procellarice 
of all kinds we have before mentioned ; gray ones and 
another kind, all black, Procellaria cequinoctialis ? Linn. We 
could not discern whether or not their beaks were yellow. 

1 Macrocystis pyrifera, Ag. 


There were also plenty of albatrosses. Indeed, I have ob- 
served a much greater quantity of birds upon the wing in 
gales than in moderate weather, owing perhaps to the 
tossing of the waves, which must render swimming very 
uneasy. They must be more often seen flying than when 
they sit upon the water. 

The ship has been observed to go much better since her 
shaking in the last gale of wind ; the seamen say that it is 
a general observation that ships go better for being, as they 
say, loosened in their joints, so much so that in a chase it 
is often customary to knock down stanchions, etc., to make 
the ship as loose as possible. 

10th. Seals plentiful to-day, also a kind of bird, 
different from any we have before seen. It was black, and 
a little larger than a pigeon, plump like it, and easily known 
by its flapping its wings quickly as it flies, contrary 
to the custom of sea-birds in general. This evening a 
shoal of porpoises of a new species swam by the ship ; 
they are spotted with large dabs of white, with white under 
the belly : in other respects, as swimming, etc., they are 
like common porpoises, only they leap rather more nimbly, 
sometimes lifting their whole bodies out of the water. 

11th. This morning at daybreak we saw the land of 
Terra del Fuego. By eight o'clock we were well in with it. 
Its appearance was not nearly so barren as the writer of 
Lord Anson's voyage has represented it. We stood along 
shore, about two leagues off, and could see trees distinctly 
through our glasses. We observed several smokes, made 
probably by the natives as a signal to us. 

The hills seemed to be high, and on them were many 
patches of snow, but the sea-coast appeared fertile, the trees 
especially being of a bright verdure, except in places exposed 
to the south-west wind, which were distinguishable by their 
brown appearance. The shore itself was sometimes beach 
and sometimes rock. 

12th. We took Beroe incrassata, Medusa limpidissima, 
plicata and obliquata, Alcyonium anguillare (probably the 
thing that Shelvocke mentions in his Voyage Bound the 


World, p. 60), and A. frustrum, Ulva intestinalis, and Corallina 

~L4:th. Staten Land is much more craggy than Terra del 
Fuego, though the view of it in Lord Anson's voyage is 
exaggerated. The Captain stood into a bay just within 
Cape St. Vincent [Staten Island] ; and while the ship stood 
off and on, Dr. Solander and I went ashore. I found about 
a hundred plants, though we were not ashore above four hours. 
Of these I may say every one was new, and entirely different 
from what either of us had before seen. 

The country about this bay is, in general, flat. Here is, 
however, good wood, water, and great quantities of fowl. In 
the cod of the bay is a flat covered with grass, where much 
hay might be made. The bay itself is bad, affording but 
little shelter for shipping, and in many parts of it the bottom 
is rocky and foul. This, however, may be always known in 
these countries by the beds of Fucus giganteus, which con- 
stantly grow upon the rock, and are not seen upon sand or 
ooze. These weeds grow to an immense length. We 
sounded upon them, and found fourteen fathoms of water. 
As they seem to make a very acute angle with the bottom 
in their situation in the water, it is difficult to guess how 
long they may be, but probably they are not less than half 
as long again as the depth of the water, which makes their 
length 126 feet ; a wonderful length for a stalk not thicker 
than a man's thumb. 

Among other things the bay affords, there is plenty of 
Winter's bark, 1 easily known by its broad leaf, like a laurel, 
of a light green colour, bluish underneath. The bark 
is easily stripped off with a bone or stick, as oaks are 
barked in England. Its virtues are so well known that of 
them I shall say little, except that it may be used as a 
spice even in culinary matters, and is found to be very 
wholesome. Here is also plenty of wild celery (Apium 
antiscorbuticum) 2 and scurvy grass (Cardamine antiscor- 

1 Drimys Winteri, Forst. 

2 Apium prostratum, Thou. A variety of the European celery, and as 


butica), 1 both which are as pleasant to the taste as any 
herbs of the kind found in Europe, and, I believe, possess 
as much virtue in curing the scurvy. 

The trees here are chiefly of one sort, a kind of birch, 
Betula antarctica 2 with very small leaves. It has a light 
white wood, and cleaves very straight. The trees are some- 
times between two and three feet in diameter, and run thirty 
or forty feet in the bole ; possibly they might, in cases of 
necessity, supply top-masts. There are also great quantities 
of cranberries, both white and red (Arbutus rigidcu}? Inhabit- 
ants I saw none, but found their huts in two places, once in 
a thick wood, and again close by the beach. They are 
most unartificially made, conical, but open on one side, where 
were marks of fire, which last probably served them instead 
of a door. 

15tk. By dinner we came to an anchor in the Bay of 
Good Success [Terra del Fuego] : several Indians 4 were in 
sight near the shore. 

After dinner, went ashore on the starboard side of the 
bay, near some rocks, which made the water smooth and the 
landing good. Before we had walked a hundred yards, 
many Indians made their appearance on the other side of 
the bay, at the end of a sandy beach which forms the bottom 
of the bay, but on seeing our numbers to be ten or twelve 
they retreated. Dr. Solander and I then walked forward a 
hundred yards before the rest, and two of the Indians 
advanced also, and sat down about fifty yards from their 
companions. As soon as we came up they rose, and each 
of them threw a stick he had in his hand away from him 
and us: a token, no doubt, of peace. They then walked 
briskly towards the others, and waved to us to follow, which 
we did, and were received with many uncouth signs of 
friendship. "We distributed among them a number of beads 
and ribbons, which we had brought ashore for that purpose, 

1 Closely allied to the common English weed, Cardamine Mrsuta, Linn. 

2 The Betula, of Banks is a species of beech, Fagus betuloides, Mirb. 

3 Pernettya mucronata, Gaudich. 

4 Banks constantly uses the term Indians to denote the natives of a 
country, throughout the "Journal." 



and at which they seemed mightily pleased, so much so that 
when we embarked again on our boat three of them came 
with us and went aboard the ship. One seemed to be a 
priest or conjuror, at least we thought so by the noises he 
made, possibly exorcising every part of the ship he came 
into, for when anything new caught his attention, he shouted 
as loud as he could for some minutes, without directing his 
speech either to us or to any one of his countrymen. They 
ate bread and beef which we gave them, though not heartily, 
but carried the largest part away with them. They would 
not drink either wine or spirits, but returned the glass, 
though not before they had put it to their mouths and 
tasted a drop. We conducted them over the greater part 
of the ship, and they looked at everything without any 
remarks of extraordinary admiration, unless the noise which 
our conjuror did not fail to repeat at every new object he 
saw might be reckoned as such. 

After having been aboard about two hours, they expressed 
a desire to go ashore, and a boat was ordered to carry them. 
I went with them, and landed them among their countrymen, 
but I cannot say that I observed either the one party curious 
to ask questions, or the other to relate what they had seen, 
or what usage they had met with ; so after having stayed 
ashore about half an hour, I returned to the ship, and the 
Indians immediately marched off from the shore. 

16th. This morning very early Dr. Solander and I, 
with our servants and two seamen to assist in carrying 
baggage, and accompanied by Messrs. Monkhouse and Green, 
set out from the ship to try to penetrate as far as we could 
into the country, and, if possible, gain the tops of the hills, 
which alone were not overgrown with trees. We entered 
the woods at a small sandy beach a little to the westward of 
the watering-place, and continued pressing through pathless 
thickets, always going uphill, until three o'clock, before we 
gained even a near view of the places we intended to go to. 
The weather had all this time been vastly fine, much like a 
sunshiny day in May, so that neither heat nor cold was 
troublesome to us, nor were there any insects to molest us, 


which made me think the travelling much better than what 
I had before met with in Newfoundland. 

Soon after we saw the plains we arrived at them, but 
found to our great disappointment that what we took for 
swathe was no better than low bushes of birch reaching to 
about a man's middle. These were so stubborn that they 
could not be bent out of the way, but at every step the leg 
must be lifted over them; on being placed again on the 
ground it was almost sure to sink above the ankle in bog. 
No travelling could possibly be worse than this, which 
seemed to last about a mile, beyond which we expected to 
meet with bare rock, for such we had seen from the tops of the 
lower hills as we came. This I in particular was infinitely 
eager to arrive at, expecting there to find the alpine plants of 
a country so curious. Our people, though rather fatigued, 
were yet in good spirits, so we pushed on, intending to rest 
ourselves as soon as we should arrive on the level ground. 

We proceeded two-thirds of the way without the least 
difficulty, and I confess that I thought, for my own part, 
that all difficulties were surmounted, when Mr. Buchan fell 
into a fit. A fire was immediately lit for him, and with him 
all those who were most tired remained behind, while Dr. 
Solander, Mr. Green, Mr. Monkhouse and myself advanced 
for the alp, which we reached almost immediately, and found, 
according to expectation, plants which answered to those we 
had found before, as in Europe alpine ones do to those which 
are found on the plains. 

The air was very cold, and we had frequent snow-blasts. 
I had now given over all thought of reaching the ship that 
night, and thought of nothing but getting into the thick of 
the wood, and making a fire, which, as our road lay all down- 
hill, seemed very easy to accomplish. So Messrs. Green 
and Monkhouse returned to the other people, and appointed 
a hill for our general rendezvous, from whence we should 
proceed and build our wigwam. The cold now increased 
apace ; it might be nearly eight o'clock, though the daylight 
was still exceedingly good, so we proceeded to the nearest 
valley, where the short birch, the only thing we now dreaded, 


could not be half a mile across. Our people seemed well, 
though cold, and Mr. Buchan was stronger than we could 
have expected. I undertook to bring up the rear and see 
that no one was left behind. We got about half-way very 
well, when the cold seemed to have at once an effect in- 
finitely beyond what I have ever experienced. Dr. Solander 
was the first to feel it : he said he could not go any farther, 
but must lie down, though the ground was covered with 
snow, and down he lay, notwithstanding all I could say to 
the contrary. Eichmond, a black servant, now also lay 
down, and was much in the same way as the Doctor. At 
this juncture I despatched five in advance, of whom Mr. 
Buchan was one, to make ready a fire at the very first con- 
venient place they could find, while I myself, with four more, 
stayed behind to persuade the Doctor and Eichmond to 
come on if possible. With much persuasion and entreaty 
we got through the greater part of the birch, when they both 
gave out. Eichmond said that he could not go any farther, 
and when told that if he did not he must be frozen to death, 
only answered that there he would lie and die ; the Doctor, 
on the contrary, said that he must sleep a little before he 
could go on, and actually did so for a full quarter of an 
hour, after which time we had the welcome news of a fire 
being lit about a quarter of a mile ahead. I then undertook 
to make the Doctor proceed to it, and, finding it impossible 
to make Eichmond stir, left two hands with him who seemed 
the least affected by the cold, promising to send two to 
relieve them as soon as I should reach the fire. With 
much difficulty I got the Doctor to it, and as soon as two 
men were properly warmed sent them out in hopes that 
they would bring Eichmond and the others. After staying 
about half an hour they returned, bringing word that they 
had been all round the place shouting and hallooing, but 
could not get any answer. We now guessed the cause of 
the mischief: a bottle of rum, the whole of our stock, was 
missing, and we soon concluded that it was in one of their 
knapsacks, and that the two who were left in health had 
drunk immoderately of it, and had slept like the other. 


For two hours now it had snowed almost incessantly, 
so that we had little hopes of seeing any of the three alive ; 
about midnight, however, to our great joy, we heard a shout- 
ing, on which I and four more went out immediately, and 
found it to be the seaman, who had walked, almost starved 
to death, from where he lay. I sent him back to the fire 
and proceeded by his direction to find the other two. Eich- 
mond was upon his legs, but not able to walk ; the other lay 
on the ground as insensible as a stone. We immediately 
called all hands from the fire, and attempted, by all the 
means we could contrive, to bring them down, but found it 
absolutely impossible. The road was so bad, and the night 
so dark, that we could scarcely ourselves get on, nor did we 
without many falls. We would then have lit a fire upon 
the spot, but the snow on the ground, as well as that which 
continually fell, rendered this plan as impracticable as the 
other, and to bring fire from the other place was also im- 
possible from the quantity of snow which fell every moment 
from the branches of the trees. We were thus obliged to 
content ourselves with laying out our unfortunate com- 
panions upon a bed of boughs and covering them over with 
boughs as thickly as possible, and thus we left them, hope- 
less of ever seeing them again alive, which, indeed, we never 

In this employment we had spent an hour and a half, 
exposed to the most penetrating cold I ever felt, as well as 
to continual snow. Peter Brisco, another servant of mine, 
began now to complain, and before we came to the fire 
became very ill, but got there at last almost dead with cold. 

Now might our situation be called terrible : of twelve, 
our original number, two were already past all hopes, one 
more was so ill that, though he was with us, I had little 
hopes of his being able to walk in the morning, and another 
seemed very likely to relapse into his fits, either before we 
set out or in the course of our journey. We were distant 
from the ship, we did not know how far ; we knew only 
that we had spent the greater part of a day in walking 
through pathless woods : provision we had none but one 


vulture, which had been shot on the way, and at the shortest 
allowance could not furnish half a meal ; and, to complete 
our misfortunes, we were caught in a snowstorm in a climate 
we were utterly unacquainted with, but which we had 
reason to believe was as inhospitable as any in the world, 
not only from all the accounts we had heard or read, but 
from the quantity of snow which we saw falling, though it 
was very little after midsummer, a circumstance unheard of 
in Europe, for even in Norway or Lapland snow is never 
known to fall in the summer. 

1*7 th. The morning now dawned and showed us the earth 
as well as the tops of the trees covered with snow ; nor were 
the snow squalls at all less frequent ; we had no hopes now 
but of staying here as long as the snow lasted, and how 
long that would be God alone knew. 

About six o'clock the sun came out a little, and we 
immediately thought of sending to see whether the poor 
wretches we had been so anxious about last night were yet 
alive ; three of our people went, but soon returned with the 
melancholy news of their being both dead. The snow con- 
tinued to fall, though not quite so thickly as before. About 
eight o'clock a small breeze of wind sprang up, and with 
the additional power of the sun began (to our great joy) to 
clear the air, and soon after the snow commenced to fall 
from the tops of the trees, a sure sign of an approaching 
thaw. Peter continued very ill, but said he thought himself 
able to walk ; Mr. Buchan, thank God, was much better 
than I could have expected ; so we agreed to dress our 
vulture, and prepare to set out for the ship as soon as the 
snow should be a little more melted. The vulture was 
skinned and cut into ten equal shares, every man cooking 
his own share, which furnished about three mouthfuls of 
hot meat, the only refreshment we had had since our cold 
dinner yesterday, and all we were to expect till we should 
reach the ship. 

About ten we set out, and after a march of three hours, 
arrived at the beach fortunate in having met with much 
better roads on our return than in going out, as well as 


being nearer to the ship than we had any reason to hope for. 
From the ship we found that we had made a half-circle 
round the hills instead of penetrating, as we thought we 
had done, into the inner part of the country. With what 
pleasure we congratulated each other on our safety no one 
can tell who has not been in such circumstances. 

ISth. Peter was very ill to-day, and Mr. Buchan not at 
all well ; the rest of us, thank God, in good health, though 
riot yet recovered from our fatigue. 

20th. This morning was very fine, so much so that we 
landed without any difficulty at the bottom of the bay and 
spent our time very much to our satisfaction in collecting 
shells and plants. Of the former we found some very 
scarce and fine, particularly limpets ; of several species of 
these we observed (as well as the shortness of our time 
would permit) that the limpet with a longish hole at the 
top of his shell is inhabited by an animal very different 
from that which has no such hole. Here were also some 
fine whelks, one particularly with a long tooth, and an 
infinite variety of Lepades, Sertularice, Onisci, etc., in much 
greater variety than I have anywhere seen. But the 
shortness of our time would not allow us to examine 
them, so we were obliged to content ourselves with taking 
specimens of as many of them as we could in so short a 
time scrape together. 

We returned on board to dinner, and afterwards went 
about two miles into the country to visit an Indian town, of 
which some of our people had given us news. We arrived 
there in about an hour, walking through a path which I 
suppose was their common road, though it was sometimes 
up to our knees in mud. The town itself was situated upon 
a dry knoll among the trees, which had not been at all 
cleared ; it consisted of not more than twelve or fourteen 
huts or wigwams of the most unartificial construction imagin- 
able ; indeed, nothing bearing the name of a hut could pos- 
sibly be built with less trouble. A hut consisted of a few 
poles set up and meeting together at the top in a conical 
figure, and covered on the weather side with a few boughs 


and a little grass ; on the lee side about one-eighth part of 
the circle was left open, and against this opening a fire was 
made. Furniture, I may justly say, they had none ; a little, 
a very little, dry grass laid round the edges of the circle 
furnished both beds and chairs, and for dressing the shell- 
fish (the only provision I saw them make use of) they had 
no one contrivance but broiling them upon the coals. For 
drinking, I saw in a corner of one of their huts a bladder of 
some beast full of water ; in one side of this near the top 
was a hole through which they drank by elevating a little the 
bottom, which made the water spring up into their mouths. 

In these few huts, and with this small share, or rather 
none at all, of what we call the necessaries and conveniences 
of life, lived about fifty men, women, and children, to all 
appearance contented with what they had, not wishing for 
anything we could give them except beads. Of these they 
were very fond, preferring ornamental things to those which 
might be of real use, and giving more in exchange for a 
string of beads than they would for a knife or a hatchet. 

Notwithstanding that almost all writers who have men- 
tioned this island have imputed to it a want of wood, we 
plainly distinguished, even at the distance of some leagues, 
that the largest part of the country, particularly near the 
sea- coast, was covered with wood, which observation was 
verified in both the bays we put into. In either of these 
firing migjit be got close by the beach in any quantity, and 
also trees, which to all appearance might be fit for repairing 
a vessel, or even in cases of necessity for making masts. 

The hills are high, though not to be called mountains ; 
the tops of these, however, are quite bare, and on them 
patches of snow were frequently to be seen, yet the time of 
the year when we were there answered to the beginning of 
July in England. In the valleys between these, the soil 
has much the appearance of fruitfulness, and is in some 
places of considerable depth ; at the bottom of almost every 
one of these runs a brook, the water of which in general has 
a reddish cast like that which runs through turf bogs in 
England ; it is very well tasted. 


Quadrupeds I saw none in the island, unless the seals 
and sea-lions, which were often swimming about in the bay, 
might be called such ; but Dr. Solander and I, when we 
were on the top of the highest hill reached by us, observed 
the footsteps of a large beast imprinted on the surface of a 
bog, but could not with any probability guess of what kind 
it might be. 

Land birds were very few, I saw none larger than an 
English blackbird, except hawks and a vulture ; but water- 
fowl are much more plentiful. In the first bay we were in 
I might have shot any quantity of ducks or geese, but 
would not spare the time from gathering plants ; in the 
other we shot some, but the Indians in the neighbourhood 
had made them shy, as well as much less plentiful ; at least 
so we found. 

Fish we saw few, nor could we with our hooks take any 
fit to eat : shell-fish, however, are in the greatest abundance, 
limpets, mussels, clams, etc., but none of them delicate, yet 
such as they were we did not despise them. 

Insects are very scarce, and not one species hurtful or 
troublesome : during the whole of our stay we saw neither 
gnat nor mosquito, a circumstance which few, if any, 
uncleared countries can boast of. 

Of plants there are many species, and those truly the 
most extraordinary I can imagine ; in stature and appear- 
ance they agree a good deal with the European ones, only 
in general are less specious, white flowers being much more 
common among them than any other colour ; but, to speak 
of them botanically, probably no botanist has ever enjoyed 
more pleasure in the contemplation of his favourite pursuit 
than did Dr. Solander and I among these plants. We have 
not yet examined many of them, but what we have, have 
proved in general so entirely different from any before 
described, that we are never tired of wondering at the 
infinite variety of creation, and admiring the infinite care 
with which Providence has multiplied her productions, 
suiting them no doubt to the various climates for which 
they were designed. Trees are not numerous : a birch, 


(Betula antarctica)} a beech (Fagus antarctica), and winter's 
bark (Winterana aromatica)? are all worth mentioning, the 
two first for timber, the other for its excellent aromatic 
bark, so much valued by physicians. Of other plants we 
could not ascertain the virtues, not being able to converse 
with the Indians, who may have experienced them; but 
the scurvy grass, Oardamine antiscorbutica, and wild celery, 
Apium antarcticum, may easily be known to contain anti- 
scorbutic properties, capable of being of great service to 
ships which may in future touch here. Of these two, there- 
fore, I shall give a short description. Scurvy grass is found 
plentifully in damp places near springs, in general every- 
where near the beach, especially at the watering-place in 
the Bay of G-ood Success. When young and in its greatest 
perfection it lies flat on the ground, having many bright 
green leaves standing in pairs opposite each other, with an 
odd one, in general the fifth, at the end. When older it 
shoots up in stalks sometimes two feet high, at the top of 
which are small white blossoms, which are succeeded by 
long pods. The whole plant much resembles what is called 
Lady's-smock in England, only that the flowers are much 
smaller. Wild celery greatly resembles the celery in our 
gardens, only that the leaves are of a deeper green ; the 
flowers, as in ours, stand in small tufts at the top of the 
branches, and are white. It grows plentifully near the 
beach, generally on soil which is just above the spring tides, 
and is not easily mistaken, as the taste resembles celery or 
parsley, or rather is between both. These herbs we used 
plentifully while we stayed here, putting them in our soup, 
etc., and derived the benefit from them which seamen in 
general find from a vegetable diet after having been long 
deprived of it. 

The inhabitants we saw here seemed to be one small 
tribe of Indians, consisting of not more than fifty of all 

1 Both the beech and birch are species of beech (Fagus) : one, F. betidoides, 
Mirb. (the birch of Banks), is an evergreen ; the other, F. antarctica, Forst, is 

2 Drimys Winteri, Forst. 


ages and sexes. They are of a reddish colour, nearly resem- 
bling that of rust of iron mixed with oil ; the men are largely 
built, but very clumsy, their height being from five feet eight 
inches to five feet ten inches, and all very much of the same 
size. The women are much smaller, seldom exceeding five 
feet. Their clothes are nothing more than a kind of cloak of 
guanaco or seal skin, thrown loosely over their shoulders, 
and reaching nearly to their knees ; under this they have 
nothing at all, nor anything to cover their feet, except a 
few who had shoes of raw seal hide drawn loosely round 
their instep like a purse. In this dress there is no dis- 
tinction between men and women, except that the latter 
have their cloak tied round their waist with a kind of belt 
or thong. 

Their ornaments, of which they are extremely fond, 
consist of necklaces, or rather solitaires, of shells, and 
bracelets, which the women wear both on their wrists and 
legs, the men only on their wrists ; but to compensate for 
this the men have a kind of wreath of brown worsted which 
they wear over their foreheads, so that in reality they are 
more ornamented than the women. 

They paint their faces generally in horizontal lines, just 
under their eyes, and sometimes make the whole region 
round their eyes white, but these marks are so much varied 
that no two we saw were alike. Whether they were marks 
of distinction or mere ornaments I could not at all make out. 
They seem also to paint themselves with something like a 
mixture of grease and soot on particular occasions, for when 
we went to their town there came out to meet us two who 
were daubed with black lines in every direction, so as to 
form the most diabolical countenance imaginable. These 
two seemed to exorcise us, or at least make a loud and long 
harangue, which did not seem to be addressed to us or any 
of their countrymen. 

Their language is guttural, especially in particular words, 
which they seem to express much as an Englishman when he 
hawks to clear his throat. But they have many words which 
sound soft enough. During our stay among them I could 


learn but two of their words : halldcd, which signifies beads, 
at least so they always said when they wanted them, instead 
of the ribbons or other trifles which I offered them ; and 
ooudd, which signifies water, for so they said when we took 
them ashore from the ship and by signs asked where water 
was ; they at the same time made the sign of drinking 
and pointed to our casks, as well as to the place where we 
put them ashore, where we found plenty of water. 

Of civil government I saw no signs ; no one seemed to 
be more respected than another; nor did I ever see the 
least appearance of quarrelling between any two of them. 
Eeligion also they seemed to be without, unless those people 
who made the strange noises I have mentioned before were 
priests or exorcists ; but this is merely conjectural. 

Their food, so far as we saw, was either seals or shell- 
fish. How they took the former we never knew, but the 
latter were collected by the women, whose business it seemed 
to be to attend at low water with a basket in one hand, a 
stick with a point and a barb in the other, and a satchel 
on their backs. They loosened the limpets with the stick, 
and put them into the basket, which, when full, was emptied 
into the satchel. 

Their arms consisted of bows and arrows, the former 
neatly enough made, the latter more neatly than any I 
have seen, polished to the highest degree, and headed either 
with glass or flint ; this was the only neat thing they 
had, and the only thing they seemed to take any pains 

That these people have before had intercourse with 
Europeans was very plain from many instances, first, from 
the European commodities, of which we saw sail-cloth, 
brown woollen cloth, beads, nails, glass, etc., especially the 
last (which they used for pointing their arrows in con- 
siderable quantity), and also from the confidence they 
immediately put in us at our first meeting, though well 
acquainted with our superiority, and from the knowledge 
they had of the use of our guns, which they very soon 
showed by making signs to me to shoot a seal. They 


probably travel and stay but a short time at a place, so at 
least it would seem from the badness of their houses, which 
seem all built to stand but for a short time ; from their 
having no kind of household furniture but what has a 
handle, adapted either to be carried in the hand or on the 
back ; from the thinness of their clothing, which seems little 
calculated even to bear the summers of this country, much 
less the winters ; from their food of shell-fish, which must 
soon be exhausted at any one spot ; and from the deserted 
huts we saw in the first bay we came to, which had plainly 
been inhabited but a short time previously, probably this 
spring. Boats they had none with them, but as they were 
not sea-sick or particularly affected when they came on 
board our ship, possibly they might have been left at some 
bay or inlet, which passes partly, but not entirely, through 
this island from the Straits of Magellan, from which place 
I should be much inclined to believe these people have 
come, as so few ships before ours have anchored upon any 
part of Terra del Fuego. 

Their dogs, which I forgot to mention before, seem also 
to indicate a commerce at some time or other with Europeans, 
they being all of the kind that bark, contrary to what has 
been observed of (I believe) all dogs natives of America. 

The weather here has been very uncertain, though in 
general extremely bad ; every day since the first more or less 
snow has fallen, and yet the thermometer has never been 
below 38. Unseasonable as this weather seems to be in 
the middle of summer, I am inclined to think it is generally 
so here, for none of the plants appear at all affected by it, 
and the insects which hide themselves during a snow blast 
are, the instant it is fair again, as lively and nimble as the 
finest weather could make them. 1 

1 Here follows a list of 104 phanerogamic and 41 cryptogamic plants 
collected in Terra del Fuego. 


JAN. 21 APRIL 12, 1769 

Leave Terra del Fuego Cape Horn Albatross and other birds, etc. Multi- 
plication of Dagysa Cuttlefish Cross the line drawn by the Royal 
Society between the South Sea and the Pacific Ocean Tropic birds 
Occultation of Saturn Freshness of the water taken on board at Terra 
del Fuego Speculations respecting a southern continent Marine animals 
Suicide of a marine Scurvy Lemon juice Lagoon Island King 
George III. Island Means adopted for preventing the scurvy Preserved 

21st January 1769. Sailed this morning, the wind 
foul; but our keeping-boxes being full of new plants, we 
little regarded any wind, provided it was but moderate 
enough to let the draughtsmen work, who, to do them 
justice, are now so used to the sea that it must blow a gale 
of wind before they leave off. 

25th. Wind to-day north-west ; stood in with some 
large islands, but we could not tell for certain whether 
we saw any part of the mainland. At some distance the 
land formed a bluff head, within which another appeared, 
though but faintly, farther to the southward. Possibly 
that might be Cape Horn, but a fog which overcast it almost 
immediately after we saw it, hindered our making any 
material observations upon it ; so that all we can say is, 
that it was the southernmost land we saw, and does not 
answer badly to the description of Cape Horn given by the 
French, who place it upon an island, and say that it is two 
bluff headlands (vide Histoire des Navigat. aux terres australes, 
torn. i. p. 356). 


1st February. Killed Diomedea antarctica, Procellaria 
lugens and turtur. The first, or black-billed albatross, is much 
like the common one, but differs in being scarcely half as 
large, and having a bill entirely black. Procellaria lugens, the 
southern shearwater, differs from the common kind in being 
smaller and of a darker colour on the back, but is easily 
distinguished by the flight, which is heavy, and by two 
fasciae or streaks of white, which are very conspicuous when 
it flies, under its wings. Procellaria turtur, Mother Carey's 
dove, is of the petrel kind, about the size of a Barbary dove, 
of a light silvery blue upon the back, which shines beauti- 
fully as the bird flies. Its flight is very swift and it re- 
mains generally near the surface of the water. More or less 
of these birds have been seen very often since we left the 
latitude of Falkland's Island, where in a gale of wind we 
saw immense quantities of them. 

3rd. Shot Diomedea exulans, an albatross, or alcatrace, 
much larger than those seen to the northward of the Straits 
of Le Maire, and often quite white on the back between the 
wings, though certainly the same species ; D. antarctica, 
lesser black -billed albatross; D. profuga, lesser albatross, 
with a party-coloured bill differing from the last in few 
things except the bill, the sides of which were yellow, with 
black between them. 

Atk. I had been unwell these three or four days, and 
to-day was obliged to keep the cabin with a bilious attack, 
which, although quite slight, alarmed me a good deal, as 
Captain Wallis had such an attack in the Straits of Magellan, 
which he never got the better of throughout the whole 

5th. I was well enough to eat part of the albatrosses 
shot on the 3rd ; they were so good that everybody com- 
mended and ate heartily of them, although there was fresh 
pork upon the table. To dress them, they are skinned over- 
night, and the carcases soaked in salt water until morning, 
then parboiled, and, the water being thrown away, stewed well 
with very little water, and when sufficiently tender served 
up with savoury sauce. 


9th. This morning some seaweed floated past the ship, 
and my servant declares that he saw a beetle fly over her. 
I do not believe he would deceive me, and he certainly 
knows what a beetle is, as he has these three years been 
often employed in taking them for me. 

1 6th. Went in the boat and killed Procellaria velox, 
Nectris munda and fuliginosa, which two last are a new 
genus between Procellaria and Diomedea : this we reckon a 
great acquisition to our bird collection. 

1*7 th. Saw several porpoises without any " pinna dorsalis," 
black on the back, white under the belly and on the nose. 
We saw also an albatross different from any other I have 
seen, it being black all over, except the head and bill, which 
were white. 

21 st. A bird not seen before attended the ship; it was 
about the size of a pigeon, black above and light-coloured 
underneath. It darted swiftly along the surface of the 
water in the same manner as I have observed the Nectris to 
do, of which genus it is probably a species. 

2Qth. Albatrosses began to be much less plentiful than 
they have been (lat. 41 8'). 

3rd March. Killed Procellaria velox, velificans, sordida, 
melanopus, lugens, agilis, and Diomedea exulans. The alba- 
tross was very brown, exactly the same as the first I killed, 
which, if I mistake not, was nearly in the same latitude on 
the other side of the continent. Caught Holothuria obtusata, 
Phyllodoce velella, exactly the same as those taken on the 
other side of the continent, except in size, which in these 
did not exceed that of an English sixpence. Dagysa vitrea 
was also the same as that taken off Kio de Janeiro ; now, 
however, we had an opportunity of seeing its extraordinary 
manner of breeding. The whole progeny, fifteen or twenty 
in number, hung in a chain from one end of the mother, the 
oldest only, or the largest, adhering to her, and the rest to 
each other. 

Among a large quantity of birds I had killed (sixty-two in 
all) I found two Hippoboscce, or forest flies, both of one species, 
and different from any described. More than probably these 


belonged to the birds, and came off with them from the land. 
I found also this day a large Sepia, or cuttlefish, lying in the 
water, just dead, but so pulled to pieces by the birds that 
its species could not be determined. Only this I know, 
that of it was made one of the best soups I ever ate. It 
was very large; and its arms, instead of being like the 
European species, furnished with suckers, were armed with 
a double row of very sharp talons, resembling in shape those 
of a cat, and like them, retractable into a sheath of skin, 
from whence they might be thrust at pleasure. 

The weather has now become pleasantly warm, and the 
barnacles on the ship's bottom seem to regenerate, very 
few of the old ones remaining alive, but young ones without 
number, scarcely bigger than lentils. 

5th. It now begins to be very hot; thermometer 70, 
and damp, with prodigious dews at night, greater than any 
I have felt. This renews our uncomfortably damp situation, 
everything beginning to mould, as it did about the equinoc- 
tial line in the Atlantic. 

*7th. No albatrosses have been seen since the 4th, and 
for some days before that we had only now and then a 
single one in sight, so we conclude that we have parted with 
them for good and all. 

llth. A steady breeze had blown during the last three 
days, and there was no sea at all ; from whence we con- 
cluded that we had passed the line drawn between the Great 
South Sea and the Pacific Ocean by the Council of the 
Eoyal Society ; notwithstanding we are not yet within the 

13th. I saw a tropic bird for the first time hovering over 
the ship, but flying very high : if my eyes did not deceive 
me it differed from that described by Linnaeus (Phaeton 
aetherius), in having the long feathers of his tail red. The 
servants with a dipping net took Mimus wlutator and 
Phyllodoce velella, both exactly the same as those we saw in 
the Atlantic Ocean (lat. 30 45', long. 126 23' 45"). 

15th. This night there was an occupation' of Saturn by 
the moon, which Mr. Green observed, but was unlucky in 



having the weather so cloudy that the observation was good 
for little or nothing. 

IQth. Our water which had been taken on board at 
Terra del Fuego has remained until this time perfectly good 
without the least change, which I am told is very rare, 
especially when, as in our case, water is brought from a cold 
climate into a hot one ; ours, however, has stood it without 
any damage, and drinks as brisk and pleasant as when first 
taken on board, or better, for the red colour it had at first 
has subsided, and it is now as clear as any English spring 

20th. When I look on the charts of these seas, and 
mark our course, which has been nearly straight at N.W. 
since we left Cape Horn, I cannot help wondering that we 
have not yet seen land. It is, however, some pleasure to 
be able to disprove that which only exists in the opinions 
of theoretical writers, as are most of those who have written 
anything about these seas without having themselves been 
in them. They have generally supposed that every foot of 
sea over which they believed no ship to have passed to be 
land, although they had little or nothing to support that 
opinion, except vague reports, many of them mentioned only 
as such by the authors who first published them. For 
instance, the Orange Tree, one of the Nassau fleet, having 
been separated from her companions, and driven to the 
westward, reported on her joining them again that she had 
twice seen the Southern continent; both these places are 
laid down by Mr. Dalrymple many degrees to the eastward 
of our track, yet it is probable that he put them down as 
far to the westward as he thought it possible that the 
Orange Tree could have gone. 

To strengthen these weak arguments another theory has 
been started, according to which as much of the South Sea 
as its authors call land must necessarily be so, for otherwise 
this world would not be properly balanced, since the quantity 
of earth known to be situated in the northern hemisphere 
would not have a counterpoise in this. The number of square 
degrees of their land which we have already changed into 


water sufficiently disproves this, and teaches me at least, 
that till we know how this globe is fixed in that place 
which has been since its creation assigned to it in the 
general system, we need not be anxious to give reasons how 
any one part of it counterbalances the rest. 

21st. Took Turbo Jtuitans, floating on the water in the 
same manner as Helix ianthina, Medusa porpita, exactly like 
that taken on the other side of the continent, and a small 
Cimex, which had also been taken before. This last appears 
to be a larva ; if so, it is probably of some animal that lives 
under water, as I saw many, but none that appeared 

On Phaeton erubescens were plenty of a very curious kind 
of Acarus phaetonis, which either was or appeared to be 
viviparous. Besides what was shot to day, there were seen 
man-of-war birds (Pelecanus aquilus), and a small bird of the 
Sterna kind, called by the seamen egg-birds; they were 
white with red beaks, and about the size of Sterna hirundo. 
Of these I saw several juofc at nightfall, flying very high and 
following one another, all standing towards the N.N.W. ; 
probably there is land in that direction, as we were not far 
from the spot where Quiros saw his southernmost islands, 
Incarnation and St. John Baptist. 

24:th. The officer of the watch reported that in the 
middle watch the water, from being roughish, became suddenly 
as smooth as a mill pond, so that the ship, from going only 
four knots, at once increased to six, though there was little 
or no more wind than before. A log of wood also which 
was seen by several people to pass the ship made them 
believe that there was land to windward. When I came on 
deck at eight o'clock the signs were all gone. I saw, how- 
ever, two birds which seemed to be of the Sterna kind, both 
very small, one quite white and the other quite black, which 
from their appearance could not venture far from land. 

To-day by our reckoning we crossed the tropic. 

25th. This evening one of our marines threw himself 
overboard, and was not missed until it was much too late 
even to attempt to recover him. He was a very young man, 


scarcely twenty-one years of age, remarkably quiet and 
industrious, and, to make his exit more melancholy, was 
driven to the rash resolution by an accident so trifling that 
it must appear incredible to everybody who is not well 
acquainted with the powerful effects that shame can work 
upon young minds. 

This day at noon he was sentry at the cabin door, and 
while he was on that duty, one of the captain's servants, 
being called away in a hurry, left a piece of sealskin in his 
charge, which it seems he was going to cut up to make 
tobacco pouches, some of which he had promised to several 
of the men. The poor young fellow had several times asked 
him for one, and when refused had told him that since he 
refused him so trifling a thing, he would, if he could, steal 
one from him. This he put into practice as soon as the 
skin was given into his charge, and was of course found 
out immediately, as the other returned and took the piece 
he had cut off from him, but declared that he would not 
complain to the officers for so trifling a cause. In the 
meantime the fact came to the ears of his fellow-soldiers, 
thirteen in number, who stood up for the honour of their 
corps so highly that before night they drove the young 
fellow almost mad by representing his crime in the blackest 
colours as a breach of trust of the worst description. A 
theft committed by a sentry on duty they made him think 
a most inexcusable crime, especially when the thing stolen 
had been given into his charge. The sergeant particularly 
declared that if the person aggrieved would not complain, 
he would himself do so, for people should not suffer scandal 
from the ill-behaviour of one. This affected the young man 
much, and he went to his hammock ; soon after the sergeant 
called him on deck ; he got up, and slipping past the 
sergeant, went forward ; it was dusk, and the people were 
not convinced that he had gone overboard till half an hour 
after the event. 

31st. Myself not quite so well; a little inflammation in 
my throat, and swelling of the glands. 

1st April. Somewhat better to-day. As my complaint 



has something in it that puts me in mind of the scurvy, I 
took up the lemon-juice put up by Dr. Hulme's direction, 
and found that that which was concentrated by evaporating 
six gallons into less than two has kept as well as anything 
could do. The small cag, in which was lemon-juice with 
one-fifth of brandy, was also very good, though a large part 
of it had leaked out by some fault in the cag : this, there- 
fore, I began to make use of immediately, drinking very 
weak punch made with it for my common liquor. 

4th. At ten this morning my servant, Peter Briscoe, 
saw land which we had almost passed by ; we stood towards 
it, and found it to be a small island (Lagoon Island) about 
a mile and a half or two miles in length ; those who were 
upon the topmast-head perceived it to be nearly circular, 
and to have a lagoon or pool of water in the middle, which 
occupied by far the largest part of the island. About noon 
we were close to it, within a mile or thereabouts, and dis- 
tinctly saw inhabitants, of whom we counted twenty-four; 
they appeared to us through our glasses to be tall and to 
have very large heads, or possibly much hair upon them ; 
eleven of them walked along the beach abreast of the ship, 
each with a pole or pike as long again as himself in his 
hand. Every one of them was stark naked, and appeared 
of a brown copper colour ; as soon, however, as the ship had 
fairly passed the island they retired higher up on the beach 
and seemed to put on some clothes, or at least cover themselves 
with something which made them appear of a light colour. 

The island was covered with trees of many different 
verdures : the palms or cocoanut trees we could plainly 
distinguish, particularly two that were amazingly taller than 
their fellows, and at a distance bore a great resemblance to 
flags. The land seemed very low ; though at a distance 
several parts of it had appeared high, yet when we came 
near them they proved to be clumps of palms. Under the 
shade of these were the houses of the natives, in spots cleared 
of all underwood, so that pleasanter groves cannot be 
imagined, at least so they appeared to us, whose eyes had so 
long been unused to any other object than water and sky. 


After dinner, land was again seen, with which we came 
up at sunset ; it proved a small island, not more than three- 
quarters of a mile in length, but almost round. We ran 
within less than a mile of it, but saw no signs of inhabitants, 
or any cocoanut trees, or indeed any that bore the least 
resemblance to palms, though there were many sorts of 
trees, or at least many varieties of verdure. 

In the neighbourhood of both this and the other island 
were many birds, man-of-war birds, and a small black sort 
of Sterna with a white spot on its head, which the seamen 
called noddies, but said that they were much smaller than 
the West Indian noddies. 

While we were near the island a large fish was taken 
with a towing-line baited with a piece of pork rind cut like 
a swallow's tail ; the seamen called it a king-fish (Scomber 

tli. It is now almost night, and time for me to wind up 
the clue of my this day's lucubrations ; so, as we have 
found no island, I shall employ the time and paper which I 
had allotted to describe one in a work which I am sure will be 
more useful, if not more entertaining, to all future navigators, 
by describing the method which we took to cure cabbage in 
England. This cabbage we have eaten every day since we left 
Cape Horn, and have now good store remaining ; as good, to 
our palates at least, and fully as green and pleasing to the 
eye as if it were bought fresh every morning at Covent 
Garden Market. Our steward has given me the receipt, 
which I shall copy exactly false spelling excepted. 

Take a strong iron-bound cask, for no weak or wooden- 
bound one should ever be trusted in a long voyage. Take 
out the head, and when the whole is well cleaned, cover the 
bottom with salt ; then take the cabbage, and, stripping off 
the outside leaves, take the rest leaf by leaf till you come to 
the heart, which cut into four. Lay these leaves and heart 
about two or three inches thick upon the salt, and sprinkle 
salt freely over them ; then lay cabbage upon the salt, 
stratum super stratum, till the cask is full. Then lay on 
the head of the cask with a weight which, in five or six 


days, will have pressed the cabbage into a much smaller 
compass. After this, fill up the cask with more cabbage, as 
before directed, and head it up. 

KB. The cabbage should be gathered in dry weather, 
some time after sunrise, so that the dew may not be upon it. 
Halves of cabbages are better for keeping than single leaves. 

10th. Weather very hazy and thick: about nine it cleared 
up a little, and showed us Osnaburg Island, discovered by 
the Dolphin in her last voyage. About one o'clock land 
was seen ahead in the direction of George's Land ; it was, 
however, so faint that very few could see it. 

llth. Up at five this morning to examine a shark 
caught yesterday evening: it proves to be a blue shark 
(Squalus glaucus). To-day we caught two more, which were 
the common gray shark (Squalus carcharias), on one of 
which were some sucking-fish (Ucheneis remora). The sea- 
men tell us that the blue shark is the worst of all to eat ; 
indeed, its smell is abominably strong, so as we have two of 
the better sort it was hove overboard. 

As I am now on the brink of going ashore after a long 
passage, thank God, in as good health as man can be, I shall 
fill a little paper in describing the means which I have taken 
to prevent the scurvy in particular. 

The ship was supplied by the Admiralty with sour-crout, 
of which I eat constantly, till our salted cabbage was opened, 
which I preferred : as a pleasant substitute, wort was served 
out almost constantly, and of this I drank a pint or more 
every evening, but all this did not check the distemper so 
entirely as to prevent my feeling some small effect of it. 
About a fortnight ago my gums swelled, and some small 
pimples rose on the inside of my mouth, which threatened 
to become ulcers ; I then flew to the lemon juice, which had 
been put up for me according to Dr. Hulme's method, 
described in his book, and in his letter, which is inserted 
here. 1 Every kind of liquor which I used was made sour 

1 To J. BANKS, Esq., Burlington Street. Sir The vessels containing the 
orange and lemon juice, sent by Dr. Fothergill, were to be marked, that 
you might know their contents ; but lest in the hurry of sending them that 


with the lemon juice No. 3, so that I took nearly six ounces 
a day of it ; the effect of this was surprising, in less than a 
week my gums became as firm as ever, and at this time I 
am troubled with nothing but a few pimples on my face, 
which have not deterred me from leaving off the juice 

circumstance should have been neglected, I will take the liberty to explain 

The case No. 1 contains six gallons of lemon juice evaporated down to less 
than two gallons. The large cask, No. 2, contains seven gallons of orange 
juice and one gallon of brandy. The small cask, No. 3, contains five quarts 
of lemon juice and one of brandy. 

When you come to make use of the juice which is in the casks, do not 
open the bung-hole, but draw it off at the end of the cask by means of a 
wooden cock, and make a vent-hole with a peg in it at the top of the cask ; 
and always observe this method when you draw off the juice you keep in 
casks. It would not be amiss if you were to take out with you several 
wooden cocks, lest any should be lost or broken ; and perhaps two or three 
strong iron-bound casks, holding ten gallons apiece, might be very useful for 
taking in a quantity of orange, lemon or lime juice, when you touch at any 
place abroad where those fruits grow. Besides the juices I would recommend 
to you to carry out a quantity of molasses, and two or three pounds of the 
best Ohio and Strasburg turpentine, in order to brew beer with for your 
daily drink when your water becomes bad. So small a quantity of molasses 
as two gallons, or two gallons and a half, are said to be sufficient for making 
an hogshead of tolerably good beer, and this method of brewing beer at sea 
will be peculiarly useful in case you should have stinking water on board ; for I 
find by experiments that the smell of stinking water will be entirely destroyed 
by the process of fermentation. I sincerely wish you and your companions a 
most prosperous voyage and a safe return to old England, loaded with all the 
honours you so justly deserve, and am, sir, your most humble servant, 


HATTON GABDEN, August 1, 1768. 


APKIL 13 JULY 12, 1769 

Reception by natives Peace offerings and ceremonies Thieving Natives 
fired upon Death of Mr. Buchan, the artist Lycurgus and Hercules 
Tents erected An honest native Flies Music A foreign axe found 
Thefts Names of the natives The Dolphin's queen Quadrant 
stolen Dootahah made prisoner Visit to Dootahah Wrestling 
Tubourai offended Natives at divine service Cask stolen Natives 
swimming in surf Imao Transit of Venus Nails stolen by sailors 
Mourning Previous visit of foreign ships Banks takes part in a native 
funeral ceremony Travelling musicians Canoes seized for thefts Dogs 
as food Circumnavigation of the island Image of man made of basket- 
work Gigantic buildings (marai] Battlefield Return to station Bread- 
fruit Excursion inland Volcanic nature of the island Seeds planted 
Dismantling the fort Banks engages a native to go to England. 

1 3th. This morning early we came to an anchor in 
Port-royal by King George-the-Third's Island. Before the 
anchor was down we were surrounded by a large number of 
canoes, the people trading very quietly and civilly, chiefly 
for beads, in exchange for which they gave cocoanuts, bread- 
fruit both roasted and raw, some small fish and apples. 
They had one pig with them which they refused to sell for 
nails upon any account, but repeatedly offered it for a 
hatchet ; of these we had very few on board, so thought it 
better to let the pig go than to give one of them in exchange, 
knowing, on the authority of those who had been here be- 
fore, that if we did so they would never lower their price. 

As soon as the anchors were well down the boats were 
hoisted out, and we all went ashore, where we were met by 
some hundreds of the inhabitants, whose faces at least gave 


evident signs that we were not unwelcome guests, although 
at first they hardly dared approach us ; after a little while 
they became very familiar. The first who approached us 
came creeping almost on his hands and knees, and gave us 
a green bough, the token of peace ; this we received, and 
immediately each of us gathered a green bough and carried 
it in our hands. They marched with us about half a mile, 
then made a general halt, and scraping the ground clean from 
the plants that grew upon it, every one of the chiefs threw 
his bough down upon the bare place, and made signs that 
we should do the same. The marines were drawn up, and, 
marching in order, dropped each a bough upon those that 
the Indians had laid down ; we all followed their example, 
and thus peace was concluded. We then walked into the 
woods followed by the whole train, to whom we gave beads 
and small presents. In this manner we proceeded for 
four or five miles, under groves of cocoanut and bread- 
fruit trees, loaded with a profusion of fruit, and giving the 
most grateful shade I have ever experienced. Under these 
were the habitations of the people, most of them without 
walls ; in short, the scene that we saw was the truest picture 
of an Arcadia of which we were going to be kings that the 
imagination can form. 

Our pleasure in seeing this was, however, not a little 
allayed by finding in all our walk only two hogs, and not 
one fowl. Those of our crew who had been with the 
Dolphin told us that the people whom we saw were only of 
the common sort, and that the bettermost had certainly 
removed : as a proof of this they took us to the place where 
the Queen's palace had formerly stood, and of which there 
were no traces left. We, however, resolved not to be dis- 
couraged at this, but to proceed to-morrow morning in 
search of the place to which these superior people had re- 
moved, in hopes of making the same peace with them as 
with our friends the blackguards. 

I4:th. Several canoes came to the ship, including two in 
which were people who, by their dress and appearance, 
seemed to be of a rank superior to those whom we had seen 


yesterday. These we invited to come on board, and in 
coming into the cabin each singled out his friend: one 
took the captain, and the other chose myself. Each 
took off a large part of his clothes, and dressed his friend 
with what he took off; in return for this we presented them 
with a hatchet and some beads apiece. As they made 
many signs to us to go to the places where they lived, to 
the south-west of where we lay, the boats were hoisted out, 
and, taking them with us, we immediately proceeded accord- 
ing to their directions. 

After rowing about a league, they beckoned us on shore, 
and showed us a long house where they gave us to under- 
stand that they lived: here we landed and were met by 
some hundreds of the inhabitants, who conducted us into 
the long house. Mats were spread, and we were desired to 
sit down fronting an old man whom we had not before seen. 
He immediately ordered a cock and a hen to be brought, 
which were presented to Captain Cook and myself. We 
accepted the present ; a piece of cloth was then presented 
to each of us, perfumed, not disagreeably, after their manner, 
as they took great pains to make us understand. My piece 
was eleven yards long by two wide. For this I made re- 
turn by presenting him with a large laced silk neck-cloth 
I had on, and a linen pocket handkerchief: these he 
immediately put on and seemed much pleased. After 
this ceremony was over we walked freely about several 
large houses, attended by the ladies, who showed us all kinds 
of civilities. 

We now took leave of our friendly chief, and proceeded 
along shore for about a mile, when we were met by a throng 
of people, at the head of whom appeared another chief. We 
had learned the ceremony we were to go through, namely, to 
receive the green bough always brought to us at every fresh 
meeting, and to ratify the peace of which it was the emblem, 
by laying our hands on our breasts and saying Taio, which 
I imagine signifies friend. The bough was here offered and 
accepted, and every one of us said Taio; the chief then 
made signs that if we chose to eat, he had victuals ready : 


we accordingly dined heartily on fish and bread-fruit with 
plantains, etc., dressed after their method. Kaw fish was 
offered to us, which it seems they themselves eat. The ad- 
ventures of this entertainment I much wish to record parti- 
cularly, but am so much hurried by attending the Indians 
ashore almost all day long, that I fear I shall scarcely under- 
stand my own language when I read it again. 

Our chief's own wife (ugly enough in conscience) did me 
the honour with very little invitation to squat down on the 
mats close by me ; no sooner had she done so than I espied 
among the common crowd a very pretty girl with a fire in 
her eyes that I had not before seen in the country. Un- 
conscious of the dignity of my companion I beckoned to the 
other, who, after some entreaties, came and sat on the other 
side of me. I was then desirous of getting rid of my 
former companion, so I ceased to attend to her, and loaded 
my pretty girl with beads and every present I could think 
pleasing to her : the other showed much disgust, but did not 
quit her place, and continued to supply me with fish and 
cocoanut milk. 

How this would have ended is hard to say ; it was 
interrupted by an accident which gave us an opportunity 
of seeing much of the people's manners. Dr. Solander 
and another gentleman who had not been in as good 
company as myself found their pockets had been picked : 
one had lost a snuff-box, the other an opera-glass. Com- 
plaint was made to the chief, and to give it weight I started 
up from the ground, and striking the butt end of my gun, 
made a rattling noise which I had before used in our 
walk to frighten the people and keep them at a distance. 
Upon this every one of the common sort (among whom 
was my pretty girl) ran like sheep from the house, leaving 
us with only the chief, his three wives, and two or three 
better dressed than the rest, whose quality I do not guess 
at. The chief then took me by the hand to the other end 
of the house where lay a large quantity of their cloth ; this 
he offered to me piece by piece, making signs that if it 
would make amends, I might take any part or all. I put 


it back, and by signs told him that I wanted nothing but 
our own, which his people had stolen : on this he gave me 
into the charge of my faithful companion his wife, who had 
never budged an inch from my elbow. With her I sat 
down on the mat, and conversed by signs for nearly half an 
hour, after which time the chief came back bringing the 
snuff-box and the case of the opera-glass, which, with vast 
pleasure in his countenance, he returned to the owners ; but 
his face changed when he was shown that the case was 
empty. He then took me by the hand and walked along 
shore with great rapidity about a mile ; on the way he re- 
received a piece of cloth from a woman which he carried in 
his hand. At last we came to a house in which we were 
received by a woman : to her he gave the cloth and told us 
to give her some beads. The cloth and beads were left on 
the floor by us, and she went out and returned in about a 
quarter of an hour, bringing the glass in her hand, with a 
vast expression of joy on her countenance, for few faces have 
I seen with more expression in them than those of these 
people. The beads were now returned with a positive 
resolution of not accepting them, and the cloth was as 
resolutely forced upon Dr. Solander as a recompense for his 
loss ; he then made a present of beads to the lady. Our 
ceremonies ended, we returned to the ship, admiring a 
policy, at least equal to any one we had seen in civilised 
countries, exercised by people who have never had any 
advantage but mere natural interest uninstructed by the 
example of any civilised country. 

15th. This morning we landed at the watering-place, 
bringing with us a small tent, which we set up. Whilst 
doing this we were attended by some hundreds of the natives, 
who showed a deference and respect to us which much 
amazed me. I drew a line before them with the butt end 
of my musket, and made signs to them to sit down without 
it. They obeyed instantly, and not a man attempted to set 
a foot within it. Above two hours were thus spent, and 
not the least disorder being committed, we proposed to 
walk into the woods and see if to-day we might not find 


more hogs, etc., than when we had last visited them, suppos- 
ing it probable that some at least had been driven away 
on our arrival. This in particular tempted us to go, with 
many other circumstances, although an old man (an Indian 
well known to the Dolphin's crew) attempted by many signs 
to hinder us from going into the woods ; the tent was left 
in charge of a midshipman with the marines, thirteen in 
number. We marched away, and were absent about two hours. 
Shortly before we came back we heard several musket shots. 
Our old man immediately called us together, and, by waving 
his hand, sent away every Indian who followed us except 
three, every one of whom took in their hands a green bough ; 
on this we suspected that some mischief had happened at 
the tent, and hastened home with all expedition. On our 
arrival we found that an Indian had snatched a sentry's 
musket from him unawares and run off. The midshipman 
(may be) imprudently ordered the marines to fire, which 
they did, into the thickest of the flying crowd, some hundreds 
in number, and pursuing the man who had stolen the musket, 
killed him. Whether any others were killed or hurt no 
one could tell. No Indian was now to be seen about the 
tent except our old man, who with us took all pains to 
reconcile them again before night. By his means we got 
together a few of them, and explaining to them that the 
man who had suffered was guilty of a crime deserving of 
death (for so were we forced to make it), we retired to the 
ship, not well pleased with the day's expedition, guilty, no 
doubt, in some measure of the death of a man whom the 
most severe laws of equity would not have condemned to 
so severe a punishment. 

16th. No canoes about the ship this morning, indeed we 
could not expect any, as it is probable that the news of our 
behaviour yesterday was now known everywhere, a circum- 
stance which doubtless will not increase the confidence of 
our friends the Indians. We were rather surprised that 
the Dolphin's old man, who seemed yesterday so desirous of 
making peace, did not come on board to-day. Some few 
people were upon the beach, but very few in proportion to 


what we saw yesterday. At noon went ashore, the people 
rather shy of us, as we must expect them to be, till by good 
usage we can gain anew their confidence. 

Poor Mr. Buchan, the young man whom I brought out 
as landscape and figure painter, was yesterday attacked by 
an epileptic fit; he was to-day quite insensible, and our 
surgeon gives me very little hopes of him. 

llth. At two this morning Mr. Buchan died ; about nine 
everything was made ready for his interment, he being 
already so much changed that it would not be practicable 
to keep him even till night. Dr. Solander, Mr. Sporing, 
Mr. Parkinson, and some of the officers of the ship, attended 
his funeral. I sincerely regret him as an ingenious and 
good young man, but his loss to me is irretrievable ; my 
airy dreams of entertaining my friends in England with the 
scenes that I am to see here have vanished. No account 
of the figures and dresses of the natives can be satisfactory 
unless illustrated by figures ; had Providence spared him a 
month longer, what an advantage would it have been to my 
undertaking, but I must submit. 

Our two friends, the chiefs of the west, came this morning 
to see us. One I shall for the future call Lycurgus, from 
the justice he executed on his offending subjects on the 14th ; 
the other, from the large size of his body, I shall call Hercules. 
Each brought a hog and bread-fruit ready dressed as a present, 
for which they were presented in return with a hatchet and 
a nail apiece. Hercules's present is the largest ; he seems 
indeed to be the richest man. 

In the afternoon we all went ashore to measure out the 
ground for the tents, which done, Captain Cook and Mr. 
Green slept ashore in a tent erected for that purpose, 
after having observed an eclipse of one of the satellites of 

18th. The Indians brought down such great provision of 
cocoanuts and bread-fruit to-day that before night we were 
obliged to leave off buying, and acquaint them by signs that 
we should not want any more for two days. Everything 
was bought for beads, a bead about as large as a pea 


purchasing four or six bread-fruits and a like number of 
cocoanuts. My tents were got up before night, and I slept 
ashore in them for the first time. The lines were guarded 
by many sentries, but no Indian attempted to come near 
them during the whole night. 

19th. This morning Lycurgus and his wife came to see 
us and brought with them all their household furniture, and 
even houses to be erected in our neighbourhood, a circum- 
stance which gave me great pleasure, as I had spared no 
pains to gain the friendship of this man, who seemed more 
sensible than any of his fellow-chiefs we have seen. His 
behaviour in this instance makes us sure of having gained 
his confidence at least. 

Soon after his arrival he took me by the hand and led 
me out of the lines, signing that I should accompany him 
into the woods, which I did willingly, as I was desirous of 
knowing how near us he intended to settle. I followed 
him about a quarter of a mile, when we arrived at a small 
house, or rather the awning of a canoe set up on the shore, 
which seemed to be his temporary habitation. Here he 
unfolded a bundle of their cloths and clothed me in two 
garments, one of red cloth, the other of a very pretty matting, 
after which we returned to the tents. He ate pork and 
bread-fruit which was brought him in a basket, using salt- 
water instead of sauce, and then retired into my bed-chamber 
and slept about half an hour. 

About dinner-time Lycurgus's wife brought a handsome 
young man of about twenty-two to the tents, whom they 
both seemed to acknowledge as their son ; at night he and 
another chief, who had also visited us, went away to the 
westward, but Lycurgus and his wife went towards the 
place I was at in the morning, which makes us not doubt 
of their staying with us for the future. 

20th. Eained hard all this day, at intervals so much so 
that we could not stir at all : the people, however, went on 
briskly with the fortification in spite of weather. Lycurgus 
dined with us, he imitated our manners in every instance, 
already holding a knife and fork more handily than a French- 


man could learn to do in years. In spite of the rain some 
provisions are brought to the market, which is kept just 
without the lines. 

21st. Several of our friends at the tents this morning; 
one from his grim countenance we have called Ajax, and at 
one time thought to be a great king. He had in his canoe a 
hog, but chose rather to sell it in the market than give it to 
us as a present, which we accounted for by his having in 
the morning received a shirt in return for a piece of cloth ; 
this may have made him fear that had he given the hog it 
might have been taken into the bargain, a proceeding very 
different from that of our friend Lycurgus, who seems in 
every instance to place a most unbounded confidence in us. 

22nd. Our friends as usual come early to visit us, 
Hercules with two pigs, and a Dolphin's axe which he wished 
to have repaired, as it accordingly was. Lycurgus brought 
a large fish, an acceptable present, as that article has always 
been scarce with us. Trade brisk to-day; since our new 
manufacture of hatchets has been set on foot we get some 
hogs, though our tools are so small and bad that I only 
wonder how they can stand one stroke. 

The flies have been so troublesome ever since we have 
been ashore, that we can scarcely get any business done ; 
they eat the painter's colours off the paper as fast as they 
can be laid on, and if a fish has to be drawn, there is more 
trouble in keeping them off than in the drawing itself. 

Many expedients have been thought of, but none succeed 
better than a mosquito-net covering table, chair, painter and 
drawings, but even that is not sufficient. A fly-trap was 
necessary within this to attract the vermin from eating the 
colours. For this purpose tar and molasses were mixed 
yesterday together, but this did not succeed, for the plate 
which had been smeared with it was left outside the tent to 
clean, and one of the Indians noticing this took the oppor- 
tunity, when he thought no one was observing him, of taking 
some of this mixture up into his hand. I saw him, and was 
curious to know for what use it was intended : the gentle- 
man had a large sore on his body, to which this clammy 



liniment was applied, but with what result I never took the 
trouble to inquire. 

Hercules to-day gave us a specimen of the music of this 
country ; four people performed upon flutes, which they 
sounded with one nostril, while they stopped the other 
with their thumbs : to these four others sang, keeping very 
good time, but during half an hour they played only one 
tune, consisting of not more than five or six notes ; more I 
am inclined to think they have not upon their instruments, 
which have only two stops. 

23rd. Mr. Green and myself went to-day a little way 
upon the hills in order to see how the roads were. Lycurgus 
went with us, but complained much at the ascent, saying 
that it would kill him. We found as far as we went, 
possibly three miles, exceedingly good paths, and at the end 
of our walk we met boys bringing wood from the mountains, 
which we look upon as a proof that the journey will be very 
easy whenever we attempt to go higher. 

We had this evening some conversation about an axe 
which was brought in the morning by Hercules to be ground. 
It was very different from our English ones, and several gentle- 
men were of opinion that it was French. Some went so far 
as to give it as their opinion that some other ship had been 
here since the Dolphin. The difficulty, however, appeared 
to be easily solved by supposing axes to have been taken in 
the Dolphin for trade, in which case old ones of any make 
might have been bought, for many such I suppose there are 
in every old iron shop in London. 

25th. I do not know by what accident I have so long 
omitted to mention how much these people are given to 
thieving. I will make up for my neglect to-day, however, by 
saying that great and small, chiefs and common men, all are 
firmly of opinion that if they can once get possession of 
anything it immediately becomes their own. This we were 
convinced of the very second day we were here ; the chiefs 
were employed in stealing what they could in the cabin, 
while their dependents took everything that was loose 
about the ship, even the glass ports not escaping them, of 


which they got off with two. Lycurgus and Hercules were 
the only two who had not yet been found guilty ; but they 
stood in our opinion but upon ticklish ground, as we could 
not well suppose them entirely free from a vice their country- 
men were so much given to. 

Last night Dr. Solander lent his knife to one of 
Lycurgus's women, who forgot to return it ; this morning 
mine was missing. I resolved to go to Lycurgus, and ask 
him whether or not he had stolen it, trusting that if he had 
he would return it. On taxing him with it, he denied 
knowing anything concerning it. I told him I was resolved 
to have it returned ; on this a man present produced a rag 
in which were tied up three knives. One was Dr. Solander's, 
the other a table-knife, and the third no one claimed. With 
these he marched to the tents to make restitution, while I 
remained with the women, who much feared that he would 
be hurt. Arrived there, he restored the two knives to the 
proper owners, and began immediately to search for mine in 
all the places where he had ever seen it. One of my 
servants seeing what he was about brought it to him ; he 
had, it seems, laid it aside the day before without my 
knowledge. Lycurgus then burst into tears, making signs 
with my knife that if he was ever guilty of such an action 
he would submit to have his throat cut. He returned 
immediately to me with a countenance sufficiently upbraid- 
ing me for my suspicions ; the scene was immediately 
changed, I became the guilty and he the innocent person. 
A few presents and staying a little with him reconciled him 
entirely ; his behaviour, however, has given me a much 
higher opinion of him than of his countrymen. 

2*7A. Lycurgus and a friend of his (who ate most 
monstrously, and was accordingly christened Epicurus) dined 
with us. At night they took their leave and departed ; but 
Lycurgus soon returned with fire in his eyes, seized my 
arm, and signed to me to follow him. I did, and he 
soon brought me to a place where was our butcher, who, he 
told me by signs, had either threatened or attempted to cut 
his wife's throat with a reaping-hook he had in his hand. 


I signed to him that the man should be punished to-morrow 
if he would only clearly explain the offence, which made 
him so angry that his signs were almost unintelligible. He 
grew cooler, and showed me that the butcher had taken 
a fancy to a stone hatchet lying in his house ; this he offered 
to purchase for a nail ; his wife who was there, refused to 
part with it, upon which he took it up and, throwing down 
the nail, threatened to cut her throat if she attempted to 
hinder him. In evidence of this the hatchet and nail were 
produced, and the butcher had so little to say in his defence 
that no one doubted of his guilt ; after this we parted and 
he appeared satisfied, but did not forget to put me in 
mind of my promise that the butcher should to-morrow be 

This day we found that our friends had names, and they 
were not a little pleased to discover that we had them 
likewise. For the future Lycurgus will be called Tubourai 
Tamaide, his wife Tamio, and the three women who commonly 
came with him, Terapo, Teraro, and Omie. As for our 
names, they make so poor a hand at pronouncing them that 
I fear we shall each be obliged to take a new one for 
the occasion. 

After breakfast Jno. Molineux came ashore, and the 
moment he entered the tent, fixed his eyes upon a woman 
who was sitting there, and declared that she had been the 
queen when the Dolphin was here. She also instantly acknow- 
ledged him as a person whom she had seen before. Our 
attention was now entirely diverted from every other object 
to the examination of a personage we had heard of so much 
of in Europe ; she appeared to be about forty, tall, and very 
lusty, her skin white and her eyes full of meaning; she 
might have been handsome when young, but now few or no 
traces of it were left. 

As soon as her Majesty's quality was known to us, she 
was invited to go on board the ship, where no presents were 
spared that were thought to be agreeable to her in consider- 
ation of her services to the Dolphin. Among other things 
a child's doll was given to her, of which she seemed very 


fond ; on her landing she met Hercules (whom for the future 
I shall call by his real name Dootahah), and showed him her 
presents. He became uneasy, and was not satisfied till he 
also had got a doll, which he now seemed to prefer to a 
hatchet ; after this, however, dolls were of no value. 

29th. My first business this morning was to see that the 
butcher was punished, as I promised Tubourai and Tamio, 
and of which they had not failed to remind me yesterday, 
when the crowd of people who were with us had prevented 
its being carried out. I took them on board the ship, 
where Captain Cook immediately ordered the offender to be 
punished ; they stood quietly and saw him stripped and 
fastened to the rigging, but as soon as the first blow was 
given, interfered with many tears, begging that the punish- 
ment might cease, a request which the captain would not 
comply with. 

At night I visited Tubourai, as I often did by candle- 
light, and found him and all his family in a most melancholy 
mood; most of them shed tears, so that I soon left them 
without being at all able to find out the cause of their grief. 
An old man had prophesied to some of our people that in 
four days we should fire our guns ; this was the fourth night, 
and the circumstance of Tubourai crying over me, as we 
interpreted it, alarmed our officers a good deal ; the sentries 
are therefore doubled, and we sleep to-night under arms. 

SQth. A very strict watch was kept last night, as 
intended, and at two in the morning I myself went round 
the point, finding everything perfectly quiet. Our little 
fortification is now complete ; it consists of high breastworks 
at each end ; the front palisades and the rear guarded by 
the river, on the bank of which we placed casks full of 
water : at every angle is mounted a swivel, and two carriage- 
guns pointed in the two directions by which the Indians 
might attack us out of the woods. Our sentries are also 
as well relieved as they could be in the most regular 

About ten, Tamio came running to the tents ; she seized 
my hand and told me that Tubourai was dying, and that I 


must go instantly with her to his house. I went and found 
him leaning his head against a post. He had vomited, they 
said, and he told me he should certainly die in consequence 
of something our people had given him to eat, the remains 
of which were shown me carefully wrapped up in a leaf. 
This upon examination I found to be a chew of tobacco 
which he had begged of some of our people, and trying to 
imitate them in keeping it in his mouth, as he saw them 
do, had chewed it almost to powder, swallowing his spittle. 
I was now master of his disease, for which I prescribed 
cocoanut milk, which soon restored him to health. 

1st May. In walking round the point, I saw a canoe 
which I supposed to have come from a distance, as she had 
a quantity of fresh water in her in bamboos. In every 
other respect she is quite like those we have seen ; her 
people, however, are absolute strangers to us. 

2nd. This morning the astronomical quadrant, which had 
been brought ashore yesterday, was missed, a circumstance 
which alarmed us all very much. After some time, we ascer- 
tained from Tubourai that it was in the hands of an Indian ; 
so we set out together. At every house we passed Tubourai 
inquired after the thief by name, and the people readily 
told which way he had gone, and how long ago it was since 
he passed by, a circumstance which gave us great hopes 
of coming up with him. The weather was excessively 
hot, the thermometer before we left the tents was 91, 
which made our journey very tiresome. At times we walked, 
at times we ran, when we imagined (as we sometimes did) 
that the chase was just before us, till we arrived at the top 
of a hill about four miles from the tents : from this place 
Tubourai showed us a point about three miles off, and 
made us understand that we were not to expect the instru- 
ment till we got there. We now considered our situation : 
no arms among us but a pair of pocket-pistols, which I 
always carried, going at least seven miles from our fort, 
where the Indians might not be quite so submissive as at 
home, going also to take from them a prize for which they 
had ventured their lives ; all this considered, we thought it 


proper that while Mr. Green and myself proceeded, the 
midshipman should return, and desire Captain Cook to send 
a party of men after us, telling him at the same time that 
it was impossible that we could return till night. This 
done we proceeded, and at the very spot Tubourai had 
mentioned, were met by one of his people bringing part of 
the quadrant in his hand: we now stopped, and many 
Indians gathered about us rather rudely ; the sight of one of 
my pistols, however, instantly checked them, and they 
behaved with all the order imaginable, though we quickly 
had some hundreds surrounding a ring we had marked out 
on the grass. The box was now brought to us, and some of 
the small matters such as reading glasses, etc., which in 
their hurry they had put into a pistol-case. This I knew 
belonged to me ; it had been stolen from the tents with a 
horse-pistol in it, which I immediately demanded, and had 
immediately restored. Mr. Green began to overlook the 
instrument to see if any part, or parts, were wanting ; several 
small things were, and people were sent out in search of 
them, some of whom returned, and others did not : the stand 
was not there, but that, we were informed, had been left 
behind by the thief, and we should have it on our return, an 
answer which, coming from Tubourai, satisfied us. Nothing 
else was wanting but what could easily be repaired, so we 
packed up all in grass as well as we could, and proceeded 
homewards. After walking about two miles we met Captain 
Cook with a party of marines coming after us, all not a 
little pleased at the event of our excursion. 

The captain on leaving the tents left orders, both for 
the ship and shore, that no canoes should be suffered to go 
out of the bay, but that nobody's person should be seized or 
detained, as we rightly guessed that none of our friends had 
any hand in the theft. These orders were obeyed by the 
first lieutenant, who was ashore ; but the second aboard, 
seeing some canoes going along shore, sent a boat to fetch 
them back. The boatswain commanding it did so, and with 
them brought Dootahah ; the rest of the crew leaped over- 
board. Dootahah was sent ashore prisoner ; the first 


lieutenant of course could not do less than confine him, to 
the infinite dissatisfaction of the Indians. This we heard 
from them two miles before we reached the tents. On our 
return Tubourai, Tamio, and every Indian that we let in, 
joined in lamenting over Dootahah with many tears. I 
arrived about a quarter of an hour before the captain, during 
which time this scene lasted. As soon as he came he 
ordered him to be instantly set at liberty, which done he 
walked off sulkily enough, though at his departure he 
presented us with a pig. 

3rd. No kind of provisions brought to market to-day. 

5th. At breakfast - time two messengers came from 
Dootahah to remind the captain of his promise [given yester- 
day] to visit him ; accordingly the boat set out, carrying the 
captain, Dr. Solander, and myself. We arrived in about an 
hour, JZparre, his residence, being about four miles from the 
tents. An immense throng of people met us on the shore, 
crowding us very much, though they were severely beaten for 
so doing by a tall good-looking man, who laid about him most 
unmercifully with a long stick, striking all who did not get 
out of his way without intermission, till he had cleared for 
us a path to Dootahah, who was seated under a tree, attended 
by a few grave-looking old men. With him we sat down, 
and made our presents, consisting of an axe and a gown of 
broadcloth made after their fashion, and trimmed with 
tape ; with these he seemed mightily satisfied. Soon after 
this Oborea [the queen] joined us, and with her I retired to 
an adjacent house where I could be free from the suffocating 
heat, occasioned by so large a crowd of people as was 
gathered about us. Here was prepared for our diversion an 
entertainment quite new to us, a wrestling match, at which 
the other gentlemen soon joined us. A large courtyard 
railed round with bamboo about three feet high was the 
scene of the diversion ; at one end of this Dootahah was 
seated, and near him were seats for us, but we rather chose 
to range at large among the spectators, than confine our- 
selves to any particular spot. 

The diversion began by the combatants, some of them 


at least, walking round the yard with a slow and grave 
pace, every now and then striking their left arms very hard, 
by which they caused a deep and very loud noise, and which 
it seems was a challenge to each other, or to any one of the 
company who chose to engage in the exercise. Within the 
house stood the old men ready to applaud the victor, and 
some few women who seemed to be here out of compliment 
to us, as much the larger number absented themselves upon 
the occasion. 

The general challenge being given as above, the par- 
ticular soon followed it, any man singling out his antagonist 
by joining the finger-ends of both hands level with the 
breast, and moving the elbows up and down ; if this was 
accepted, the challenged immediately returned the signal, 
and both instantly put themselves in an attitude to engage. 
This they very soon did, striving to seize each other by the 
hands, hair, or the cloth round the waist, for they had no 
other dress. They then attempted to seize each other by 
the thigh, which commonly decided the contest, by the fall 
of him who was thus taken at a disadvantage ; if this was 
not soon done, they always parted either by consent, or 
their friends interfered in less than a minute, in which case 
both began to clap their arms, and seek anew for an 
antagonist, either in each other or some one else. When 
any one fell, the whole amusement ceased for a few 
moments, while the old men in the house gave their applause 
in a few words which they repeated together in a kind of 
tune. This lasted about two hours, during all which time the 
man whom we observed at our first landing continued to beat 
the people who did not keep at a proper distance ; we 
understood that he was some officer belonging to Dootahah, 
and was called his Tomite. 

The wrestling over, the gentlemen informed me that 
they understood that two hogs and a large quantity of 
bread-fruit, etc., were cooking for our dinner ; news which 
pleased me very well, as I was by this time sufficiently 
prepared for the repast. I went out and saw the ovens in 
which they were buried ; these the Indians readily showed 


me, telling me at the same time that they would soon be 
ready, and how good a dinner we should have. In about 
half an hour all was taken up, but Dootahah began to 
repent of his intended generosity (he thought,- 1 suppose, 
that a hog would be looked upon as no more than a dinner, 
and consequently no present made in return) ; he therefore 
changed his mind, and ordering one of the pigs into the 
boat, sent for us, who soon collected together, and getting 
our knives prepared to fall to, saying that it was civil of 
the old gentleman to bring the provisions into the boat, 
where we could with ease keep the people at a proper dis- 
tance. His intention was, however, very different from 
ours, for instead of asking us to eat, he asked to go on 
board of the ship, a measure we were forced to comply 
with, and row four miles with the pig growing cold under 
our noses before he would give it to us. On board, how- 
ever, we dined upon this same pig, and his Majesty ate very 
heartily with us. After dinner we went ashore. The sight 
of Dootahah reconciled to us acted like a charm upon the 
people, and before night, bread-fruit and cocoanuts were 
brought for sale in tolerable quantity. 

10 fh. This morning Captain Cook planted divers seeds 
which he had brought with him in a spot of ground turned 
up for the purpose ; they were all bought of Gordon at Mile 
End, and sent in bottles sealed up. Whether or no that 
method will succeed, the event of this plantation will 

We have now got the Indian name of this island, 
Otahite, so therefore for the future I shall call it. As for 
our own names the Indians find so much difficulty in pro- 
nouncing them that we are forced to indulge them in calling 
us what they please, or rather what they say when they 
attempt to pronounce them. I give here the list : Captain 
Cook is Toote, Dr. Solander Torano, Mr. Hicks Hete, Mr. 
Gore Toarro, Mr. Molineux Boba (from his Christian name 
Eobert), Mr. Monkhouse Mato, I myself Tapane. In this 
manner they have names for almost every man in the ship. 

llth. Cocoanuts were brought down so plentifully this 


morning that by half-past six I had bought 350. This made 
it necessary to lower the price of them, lest so many being 
brought at once we should exhaust the country, and want 
hereafter ; notwithstanding which I had before night bought 
more than a thousand at the rate of six for an amber-coloured 
bead, ten for a white one, and twenty for a fortypenny nail. 
13th. Going on shore I met Tubourai near his house. 
I stopped with him; he took my gun out of my hand, 
cocked it, and holding it up in the air, drew the trigger. 
Fortunately for him it flashed in the pan. Where he had 
obtained so much knowledge of the use of a gun I could 
not conceive, but I was sufficiently angry that he should 
attempt to exercise it upon mine, as I had upon all occa- 
sions taught him and the rest of the Indians that they 
could not offend me more than by merely touching it. I 
scolded him severely, and even threatened to shoot him. 
He bore all patiently, but the moment I had crossed the 
river he and his family moved bag and baggage to their 
other house at Eparre. This step was no sooner taken 
than I was informed of it by the Indians about the fort. 
Not willing to lose the assistance of a man who had upon 
all occasions been particularly useful to us, I resolved to go 
this evening and bring him back. Accordingly as soon as 
dinner was over I set out, accompanied by Mr. Molineux. 
We found him sitting among a large circle of people, him- 
self and many of the rest with most melancholy countenances, 
some in tears. One old woman on our coming into the 
circle struck a shark's tooth into her head several times till 
it foamed with blood, but her head seemed to have been so 
often exercised with this expression of grief that it had 
become quite callous, for though the crown of it was covered 
with blood, enough did not issue from the wounds to run 
upon her cheeks. After some few assurances of forgive- 
ness Tubourai agreed to return with us, in consequence of 
which resolution a double canoe was put off, in which we 
all returned to the tents before supper-time, and as a 
token of renewal of friendship both he and his wife slept 
in my tent all night. 


Our friends Dootahah, Oborea, Otheothea, etc., at the 
tents this morning as usual. It being Sunday, Captain 
Cook proposed that divine service should be celebrated, but 
before the time most of our Indian friends had gone home 
to eat. I was resolved, however, that some should be 
present that they might see our behaviour, and we might 
if possible explain to them (in some degree at least) the 
reasons of it. I went, therefore, over the river, and 
brought back Tubourai and Tamio, and having seated them 
in the tent, placed myself between them. During the 
whole service they imitated my motions, standing, sitting, 
or kneeling as they saw me do ; and so much understood 
that we were about something very serious, that they called 
to the Indians without the fort to be silent. Notwith- 
standing this they did not, when the service was over, ask 
any questions, nor would they attend at all to any explana- 
tion we attempted to give them. We have not yet seen 
the least traces of religion among these people, maybe they 
are entirely without it. 

15th. In the course of last night one of the Indians 
was clever enough to steal an iron-bound cask. It was 
indeed without the fort, but so immediately under the eye 
of the sentry that we could hardly believe the possibility 
of such a thing having happened. The Indians, however, 
acknowledged it, and seemed inclined to give intelligence, 
in consequence of which I set off in pursuit of it, and 
traced it to a part of the bay where they told me it had 
been put into a canoe. It was not of sufficient consequence 
to pursue with any great spirit, so I returned home. At 
night Tubourai made many signs that another cask would 
be stolen before morning ; and thinking, I suppose, that we 
did not sufficiently regard them, came with his wife and 
family to the place where the cask lay, and said that they 
themselves would take care that no one should steal them. 
On being told this I went to them, and explaining to them 
that a sentry was this night put over these particular casks, 
they agreed to come and sleep in my tent, but insisted on 
leaving a servant to assist the sentry in case the thief came, 



which he did about midnight. He was seen by the sentry, 
who fired at him, on which he retreated most expedi- 

18th. The apples 1 now begin to be ripe, and are brought 
in large quantities very cheap; so that apple-pies are a 
standing dish with us. 

29th. We saw the Indians amuse or exercise themselves 
in a manner truly surprising. It was in a place where 
the shore was not guarded by a reef, as is usually the case, 
consequently a high surf fell upon the shore, and a more 
dreadful one I have not often seen ; no European boat could 
have landed in it, and I think no European who had by 
any means got into it could possibly have saved his life, as 
the shore was covered with pebbles and large stones. In 
the midst of these breakers ten or twelve Indians were 
swimming. Whenever a surf broke near them they dived 
under it with infinite ease, rising up on the other side ; 
but their chief amusement was being carried on by an old 
canoe ; with this before them they swam out as far as the 
outermost beach, then one or two would get into it, and 
opposing the blunt end to the breaking wave, were hurried 
in with incredible swiftness. Sometimes they were carried 
almost ashore, but generally the wave broke over them 
before they were half-way, in which case they dived and 
quickly rose on the other side with the canoe in their hands. 
It was then towed out again, and the same method repeated. 
We stood admiring this very wonderful scene for fully half 
an hour, in which time no one of the actors attempted to 
come ashore, but all seemed most highly entertained with 
their strange diversion. 

30th. Carpenters employed to-day in repairing the long- 
boat, which is eaten in a most wonderful manner ; every 
part of her bottom is like a honey-comb, some of the holes 
being an eighth of an inch in diameter, such progress has 
this destructive insect made in six weeks. 

31st. The day of observation now approaches. The 
weather has for some days been fine, though in general, 

1 Spondias dulcis, Forst. 


since we have been upon the island, we have had as much 
cloudy as clear weather, which makes us all not a little 
anxious for the success. In consequence of hints from 
Lord Morton, the captain resolved to send a party to the 
eastward and another to Imao, an island in sight of us, 
thinking that in case of thick weather one or the other 
might be more successful than those at the observatory. I 
resolve to go on the Imao expedition. 

1st June. The boat was not ready until after dinner, 
when we set out : we rowed most of the night, and came 
to a grappling just under the island of Imao. 

2nd. Soon after daybreak we saw an Indian canoe, and 
upon hailing her she showed us an inlet through the reef 
into which we pulled, and soon fixed upon a coral rock 
about 150 yards from the shore as a very proper situation 
for our observatory. It was about eighty yards long and 
twenty broad, and had in the middle a patch of white sand 
large enough for our tents. The second lieutenant and 
people therefore immediately set about fixing them, while 
I went upon the main island to trade with the inhabitants 
for provisions, of which I soon bought a sufficient supply. 
Before night our observatory was in order, the telescopes 
all set up, and tried, etc., and we went to bed anxious for the 
events of to-morrow. The evening having been very fine 
gave us great hopes of success. 

3rd. Various were the changes observed in the weather 
during the course of last night ; some one or other of us 
was up every half-hour, and constantly informed the rest 
that it was either clear or hazy. At daybreak we rose, and 
soon after had the satisfaction of seeing the sun rise as clear 
and bright as we could wish. I then wished success to the 
observers, Messrs. Gore and Monkhouse, and repaired to the 
island, where I could do the double service of examining the 
natural produce and buying provision for my companions 
who were engaged in so useful a work. Tarroa, the king 
of the island, came to pay me a visit. After the first 
internal contact was over, I went back to the observatory, 
carrying with me Tarroa, his sister Nuna, and some of their 



chief attendants ; we showed them the planet upon the sun, 
and made them understand that we had come on purpose 
to see it. I spent the rest of the day in examining the 
produce of the island, and found it very nearly similar to 
that of Otahite. The people, indeed, were exactly the 
same. Many of them we had often seen at Otahite, and 
every one knew well what kind of trade we had and the 
value it bore in that island. The hills in general came 
nearer to the water, and the plains were consequently 
smaller and less fertile than in Otahite. The low point 
near which we lay was composed entirely of sand and coral ; 
here neither bread-fruit nor any other useful vegetables 
would grow ; the land was covered with Pandanus sectorius, 
with which grew several plants we had not seen at Otahite. 
Among them was lleris} which Mr. Gore tells me is the 
plant called by the voyagers scurvy grass, and which grows 
plentifully upon all the low islands. 

4:th. What with presents and trade our stock of provi- 
sions was so large that we were obliged to give away a large 
quantity ; this done we put off, and before night arrived at 
the tents, where we had the great satisfaction to find that the 
observation there had been attended with as much success 
as Mr. Green and the captain could wish, the day having 
been perfectly clear, without so much as a cloud interven- 
ing. We also heard the melancholy news that a large part 
of our stock of nails had been purloined by some of the 
ship's company during the time of the observation, when 
everybody who had any degree of command was ashore. 
One of the thieves was detected, but only seven nails out of 
one hundredweight were found upon him, and he bore his 
punishment without impeaching any of his accomplices. 
This loss is of a very serious nature, as these nails, if circu- 
lated by the people among the Indians, will greatly lessen 
the value of iron, our staple commodity. 

5th. During our absence at Imao an old woman of some 
consequence died, and was placed not far from the fort to 
rot above ground, as is the custom of the island. I went 

1 Lepidium piscidium, Forst. 


this morning to see her. A small square was neatly railed 
in with bamboo, and in the midst of it a canoe awning set 
up upon two posts ; in this the body was laid, covered with 
fine cloth. Near this was laid fish, meat, etc. for the gods, 
not for the deceased, but to satisfy the hunger of the deities 
lest they should eat the body, which Tubourai told us they 
would certainly do, if this ceremony were neglected. In 
the front of the square was a kind of stile, or place lower 
than the rest, where the relatives of the deceased stood 
when they cried or bled themselves. Under the awning 
were numberless rags containing the blood and tears they 
had shed. Within a few yards were two occasional houses ; 
in one of them some of the relations, generally a good 
many, constantly remained ; in the other the chief male 
mourner resided, and kept a very remarkable dress in 
which he performed a ceremony. Both dress and ceremony 
I shall describe when I have an opportunity of seeing it in 
perfection, which Tubourai promises me I shall soon have. 

This day we kept the King's birthday, which had been 
delayed on account of the absence of the two observing 
parties. Several of the Indians dined with us and drank 
his Majesty's health by the name of Kilnargo, for we could 
not teach them to pronounce a word more like King George. 
Tupia (Oborea's right-hand man, who was with her when 
the Dolphin was here), to show his loyalty, got most 
enormously drunk. 

6th. In walking into the woods yesterday, I saw in the 
hands of an Indian an iron tool, made in the shape of the 
Indian adzes, but very different, I am sure, from anything 
that had been carried out or made either by the Dolphin or 
this ship. This excited my curiosity, the more so as I 
was told that it did not come out of either of those ships, 
but from two others which came here together. This was 
a discovery not to be neglected. With much difficulty 
and labour I at last got the following account of them, viz. 
that in their month of Pepare (which answers to our January 
1*768), two Spanish ships came here, commanded by a man 
whom they called To Otterah ; that they lay eight days in a 


bay called Hiclea, some leagues to the eastward of Matavie, 
where our ship now lies ; that during their stay they sent 
tents ashore, and some slept in them ; that they were chiefly 
connected with a chief whose name was Orette, and whose 
younger brother they carried away with them, promising to 
return in nine months ; that they had on board their ships 
a woman ; and that on their departure they stood to the 
westward as long as they were seen from the island. I 
was very particular in these inquiries, as the knowledge got 
by them may be of some consequence. The methods by 
which I gained this account would be much too tedious to 
mention. One of my greatest difficulties was to determine 
the nationality of the ships : for this purpose I pointed to 
our colours and asked whether the two ships had the same 
or not. " No," was the answer, when the question was 
thoroughly understood. I then opened a large sheet of 
flags, and asked which of them they had. Tubourai looked 
steadfastly over them, and at last pitched upon the Spanish 
ensign, and to that he adhered, although we tried him over 
and over again. 1 

9th. Yesterday and to-day the Heiva no Metua, or chief 
mourner, walked. My curiosity was raised by his most 
singular dress, and being desirous of knowing what he did 
during his walk, I asked Tubourai, at the same time desiring 
leave to attend him to-morrow, which was readily granted 
upon my consenting to act a character. 

Bread-fruit has for some time been scarce with us ; 
about ten days ago, when there had been a great show of 
fruit, the trees were thinned all at once, and every one was 
employed in making mahie for about a week. Where the 
bread-fruit we now have comes from we cannot tell, but we 
have more than the woods around us can supply us with ; 
probably our consumption has thinned the trees in this 
neighbourhood, as the Dolphin, which came here about this 
time, found great plenty during the whole of her stay. If 
this is the case, what we now get may be brought from 

1 As will appear later (see p. 370), the ships were French, under 



some neighbouring place, where the trees are not yet 

10th. This evening, according to my yesterday's engage- 
ment, I went to the place where the Metua lay ; there I 
found Tubourai, Tamio, Hoona, the Metua 1 s daughter, and a 
young Indian prepared to receive me. Tubourai was the 
Heiva, the three others and myself were to be Nineveh. 
Tubourai put on his most fantastical though not unbecoming 
dress. I was next prepared by stripping off my European 
clothes and putting on a small strip of cloth round my 
waist, the only garment I was allowed to have. They then 
began to smut me and themselves with charcoal and water, 
the Indian boy was completely black, the women and 
myself as low as our shoulders ; we then set out. Tubourai 
began by praying twice, once near the corpse, and again 
near his own house. We then proceeded towards the fort ; it 
was necessary, it seems, that the procession should visit 
that place, but they dare not do it without our sanction, 
indeed it was not until they had received many assurances 
of our consent that they ventured to perform any part of 
their ceremonies. 

To the fort then we went, to the surprise of our friends 
and affright of the Indians who were there, for they every- 
where fly before the Heiva, like sheep before a wolf; we 
soon left it and proceeded along shore towards a place where 
above a hundred Indians were collected together. We, the 
Ninevehs, had orders from the Heiva to disperse them ; we 
ran towards them, but before we came within a hundred 
yards of them they dispersed every way, running to the first 
shelter and hiding themselves under grass or whatever else 
would conceal them. We now crossed the river into the 
woods and passed several houses, all deserted ; not another 
Indian did we see during the half -hour that we spent in 
walking about. We (the Ninevelis) then came to the Heiva 
and said imatata (there are no people), after which we re- 
paired home ; the Heiva undressed, and we went into the 
river and scrubbed one another until it was dark, before the 
blacking came off. 


12t7i. In my morning's walk to-day I met a company of 
travelling musicians ; they told me where they should be at 
night, so after supper we all repaired to the place. There 
was a large concourse of people round the band, which con- 
sisted of two flutes and three drums, the drummers ac- 
companying their music with their voices. They sang 
many songs, generally in praise of us, for these gentlemen, 
like Homer of old, must be poets as well as musicians. The 
Indians seeing us entertained with their music, asked us to 
sing them an English song, which we most readily agreed 
to, and received much applause, so much so that one of the 
musicians became desirous of going to England to learn to 
sing. These people, by what we can learn, go about from 
house to house, the master of the house and the audience 
paying them for their music in cloth, meat, beads, or any- 
thing else which the one wants and the other can spare. 

13th. Mr. Monkhouse, our surgeon, met to-day with an 
insult from an Indian, the first that has been met with by 
any of us ; he was pulling a flower from a tree which grew 
on a burial-ground, and was consequently, I suppose, sacred, 
when an Indian came behind him and struck him ; Mr. 
Monkhouse caught and attempted to beat him, but was pre- 
vented by two more, who, coming up, seized hold of his hair 
and rescued their companion, after which they all ran away. 

14th. I lay in the woods last night, as I very often do; 
at daybreak I was called up by Mr. Gore and went with him 
shooting. We did not return till night, when we saw a 
large number of canoes in the river behind the tents. It 
appears that last night an Indian was clever enough to steal 
a coal-rake out of the fort without being perceived ; in the 
morning it was missed, and Captain Cook being resolved to 
recover it, and also to discourage such attempts for the 
future, went out with a party of men and seized twenty-five 
of their large sailing canoes which had just come in from 
Tethurva, a neighbouring island, with a supply of fish. The 
coal-rake was upon this soon brought back, but Captain 
Cook thought he had now an opportunity of recovering all 
the things which had been stolen ; he therefore proclaimed 


to every one that the boats should not stir until all the 
things were brought back. A list of the articles was im- 
mediately drawn up and read several times to the Indians, 
who at once promised that everything should be returned. 
Great application was made to me on my arrival that some 
of the boats might be released. I did not until I got to the 
fort understand the reason of their detention, but when I 
did nothing appeared plainer than that no one of them should 
on any account be given up from favour, but that the whole 
should be kept till the things were restored if ever they 
were which I much doubted, as the canoes did not belong 
to the people who had the articles. I confess, that had I 
taken a step so violent, I would have seized either the 
persons of the people who had stolen from us (most of whom 
we either knew, or shrewdly suspected), or at least their 
goods, instead of those of people who were entirely uncon- 
cerned in the affair, and had not probably interest enough 
with their superiors (to whom all valuable things are carried) 
to procure the restoration demanded. 

Vlfh. Mr. Gore and myself went to Eparre to shoot 
ducks, little thinking what the consequence of our expedi- 
tion would be ; for before we had half filled our bags we had 
frightened away Dootahah and all his household with their 
furniture. It was no small diversion to us to find his 
Majesty so much more fearful than his ducks. 

20th. This morning early Oborea and some others came 
to the tents, bringing a large quantity of provisions as a 
present, among the rest a very fat dog. We had lately 
learnt that these animals were eaten by the Indians, and 
esteemed more delicate food than pork ; now therefore was 
an opportunity of trying the experiment. The dog was im- 
mediately given over to Tupia, who, finding that it was a 
food that we were not accustomed to, undertook to stand 
butcher and cook. He killed the animal by stopping his 
breath, holding his hands fast over his mouth and nose, an 
operation which took more than a quarter of an hour : he 
then proceeded to dress him much in the same manner as 
we would do a pig, singeing him over the fire and scraping 



him clean with a shell. He then opened him with the same 
instrument, and taking out his entrails, pluck, etc., sent 
them to the sea, where they were most carefully washed and 
put into cocoanut shells with what blood he had found in 
him. The stones were now laid, and the dog, well covered 
with leaves, laid upon them ; in about two hours he was 
dressed, and in another quarter of an hour completely eaten. 
A most excellent dish he made for us, who were not much 
prejudiced against any species of food. I cannot, however, 
promise that an European dog would eat as well, as these in 
Otahite scarcely in their lives touch animal food ; cocoanut 
kernel and bread-fruit, yams, etc., being what their masters 
can best afford to give them, and what indeed from custom 
I suppose they prefer to any other food. 

24th. The market has been totally stopped ever since 
the boats were seized, nothing being offered for sale but a 
few apples ; our friends, however, are liberal in presents, so 
that we make -shift to live without expending our bread, 
which last, and spirits, are our most valuable articles. Late 
in the evening Tubourai and Tamio returned from Eparre, 
bringing with them several presents, among the rest a large 
piece of thick cloth, which they desired that I would carry 
home to my sister Opia, and for which they would take no 
kind of return. They are often very inquisitive about our 
families, and remember anything that is told them very 

2Qth. At three o'clock this morning Captain Cook and 
myself set out to the eastward in the pinnace, intending, if it 
was convenient, to go round the island. 1 

28th. We saw an English goose and a turkey-cock, 
which they told us had been left by the Dolphin, both of 
them immensely fat and as tame as possible, following the 
Indians everywhere, who seemed immensely fond of them. 

29th. We saw a singular curiosity: a figure of a man 
made of basket-work, roughly but not ill designed. It was 

1 The circumnavigation of the island presents few interesting features 
beyond what was noticed on the 28th and 29th ; any differences in customs 
are recorded in Chapter VII. ("General Account of the South Sea Islands "). 


seven feet high, and too bulky in proportion to its height ; 
the whole was neatly covered with feathers white to re- 
present skin, and black to represent hair, and tallow on the 
head, where were three protuberances which we should have 
called horns, but the Indians called them tata ete (little 
men). The image was called by them Manne. They said 
it was the only one of the kind in Otahite, and readily 
attempted to explain its use, but their language was totally 
unintelligible, and seemed to refer to some customs to which 
we are perfect strangers. Several miles farther on we went 
ashore again, though we saw nothing remarkable but a 
bury ing-ground, whose pavement was unusually neat. It 
was ornamented by a pyramid about five feet high, covered 
entirely with the fruits of Pandanus odorus and Cratceva 
gynandra. In the middle, near the pyramid, was a small 
image of stone very roughly worked, the first instance of 
carving in stone that I have seen among these people. This 
they seemed to value, as it was protected from the weather 
by a kind of shed built purposely over it. Near it were 
three human skulls, laid in order, very white and clean, and 
quite perfect. 

We afterwards took a walk towards a point on which 
we had from afar observed trees of etoa (Casuarina equiseti- 
folia), from whence we judged that there would be some marai 
in the neighbourhood ; nor were we disappointed, for we 
had no sooner arrived there than we were struck with the 
sight of a most enormous pile, certainly the masterpiece of 
Indian architecture in this island, and so all the inhabitants 
allowed. Its size and workmanship almost exceed belief. 
Its form was similar to that of marais in general, resembling 
the roof of a house, not smooth at the sides, but formed into 
eleven steps, each of these four feet in height, making in 
all 44 feet; its length was 267 feet, its breadth 71 feet. 
Every one of these steps was formed of white coral stones, 
most of them neatly squared and polished ; the rest were 
round pebbles, but these, from their uniformity of size and 
roundness, seemed to have been worked. Some of the coral 
stones were very large, one I measured was 3-g- by 2|- feet. 


The foundation was of rock stone, likewise squared; the 
corner-stone measured 4 feet *7 inches by 2 feet 4 inches. 
The building made part of one side of a spacious area walled 
in with stone ; the size of this, which seemed to be intended 
for a square, was 118 by 110 paces, and it was entirely 
paved with flat paving-stones. It is almost beyond belief 
that Indians could raise so large a structure without the 
assistance of iron tools to shape their stones or mortar to 
join them ; which last appears almost essential, as most of 
them are round : but it is done, and almost as firmly as an 
European workman would have done it, though in some 
things they seem to have failed. The steps for instance, 
which range along its greatest length, are not straight ; they 
bend downward in the middle, forming a small segment of 
a circle. Possibly the ground may have sunk a little under 
the immense weight of such a great pile ; such a sinking, if it 
took place regularly, would have this effect. The labour of 
the work is prodigious, the quarried stones are but few, but 
they must have been brought by hand from some distance ; 
at least we saw no signs of a quarry near it, though I looked 
carefully about me. The coral must have been fished up 
from under the water, where indeed it is most plentiful, but 
usually covered with at least three or four feet of water, and 
generally with much more. The labour of forming the 
blocks when obtained must also have been at least as great 
as that employed in getting them. The natives have not 
shown us any way by which they could square a stone 
except by means of another, which must be a most tedious 
process, and liable to many accidents through tools breaking. 
The stones are also polished as well and as truly as stones 
of the kind could be by the best workman in Europe ; in that 
particular they excel, owing to the great plenty of a sharp 
coral sand which is admirably adapted to the purpose, and 
which is found everywhere upon the sea-shore in this neigh- 

About a hundred yards to the west of this building was 
another court or paved area, in which were several JEwhattas, 
a kind of altar raised on wooden pillars about seven feet 


high ; on these they offer meat of all kinds to the gods. 
We have thus seen large hogs offered; and here were the 
skulls of above fifty of them, besides those of dogs, which 
the priest who accompanied us assured us were only a small 
fraction of what had been here sacrificed. This marai and 
apparatus for sacrifice belonged, we were told, to Oborea and 

The greatest pride of an inhabitant of Otahite is to 
have a grand marai; in this particular our friends far 
exceed any one in the island, and in the Dolphin's time the 
first of them exceeded every one else in riches and respect. 
The reason of the difference of her present appearance, I 
found by an accident which I now relate. Our road to the 
marai lay by the seaside, and everywhere under our feet were 
numberless human bones, chiefly ribs and vertebrae. So 
singular a sight surprised me much, and I inquired the reason. 
I was told that in the month called by them Owarahew last, 
which answers to our December 1*768, the people of Tiar- 
reboo made a descent here and killed a large number of 
people, whose bones we now saw ; that upon this occasion 
Oborea and Oamo were obliged to flee for shelter to the 
mountains ; that the conquerors burnt all the houses, which 
were very large, and took away all the hogs, etc. ; that the 
turkey and goose which we had seen were part of the spoils, 
as were the jaw-bones which we had also seen ; these had 
been carried away as trophies, and are used by the Indians 
here in exactly the same manner as the North Americans 
do scalps. 

30^. At night we came to Otakourou, the very place at 
which we were on the 28th of May; here we were among 
our intimate friends, who expressed the pleasure they had 
in entertaining us, by giving us a good supper and good 
beds, in which we slept the better for being sure of reaching 
Matavie [where the ship lay] to-morrow night at the farthest. 
Here we learned that the bread-fruit (a little of which we 
saw just sprouting upon the trees) would not be fit to eat 
in less than three months. 

2nd July. All our friends crowded this morning to see 


us, and tell us that they were rejoiced at our return ; nor 
were they empty-handed, most of them brought something 
or other. The canoes were still in the river, and Captain 
Cook, finding that there was no likelihood now of any of 
the stolen goods being restored, resolved to let them go as 
soon as he could. His friend Potattow solicited for one, 
which was immediately granted, as it was imagined that the 
favour was asked for some of his friends ; but no sooner did 
he begin to move the boat than the real owners and a 
number of Indians opposed him, telling him and his people 
very clamorously that it did not belong to them. He 
answered that he had bought it of the captain, and given a 
pig for it ; the people were by this declaration satisfied, and 
had we not luckily overheard it, he would have taken away 
this boat, and probably soon after have solicited for more. 
On being detected he became so sulky and ashamed, that for 
the rest of the day neither he nor his wife would open their 
mouths, or look straight at any of us. 

3rd. This morning very early Mr. Monkhouse and my- 
self set out, resolving to follow the course of the valley 
down which our river conies, in order to see how far up it 
was inhabited, etc. etc. When we had got about two miles 
up it, we met several of our neighbours coming down with 
loads of bread-fruit upon their backs : we had often wondered 
from whence our small supply of bread-fruit came, as there 
was none to be seen upon the flats. They soon explained 
the mystery, showing us bread-fruit trees planted on the 
sides of the hills, and telling us at the same time that when 
the fruit in the flats failed, these, which had been by them 
planted upon the hills to preserve the succession, were ready 
for use. The quantity was much less than in the lowlands, 
and not by any means sufficient to supply the whole interval 
of scarcity. When this was exhausted they were obliged 
to live on aJiee nuts, plantains, and vae (or wild plantain), 
which grows very high up in the mountains. How the 
Dolphin's men, who were here much about this time, came to 
find so great plenty of bread-fruit upon the trees, is a mystery 
to me, unless perhaps the season of this fruit alters. As for their 


having met with a much larger supply of hogs, fowls, etc., 
than we have done, I can most readily account for that, as 
we have found by constant experience that these people 
may be frightened into anything. They have often described 
to us the terror which the Dolphin's gun caused them, and 
when we ask how many people were killed, they number 
names upon their fingers, some ten, some twenty, some 
thirty, and then say worrow worrow, the same word as is 
used for a flock of birds or a shoal of fish. The Dolphin's 
journals often serve to confirm this opinion. " When," say 
they, " towards the latter end of our time provisions were 
scarce, a party of men were sent towards Eparre to get 
hogs, etc., an office which they had not the smallest diffi- 
culty in performing, for the people, as we went along the 
shore, drove out their hogs to meet us, and would not 
allow us to pay anything for them." 

About a mile farther on we found houses fairly plentiful 
on each side of the river, the valley being all this way three 
or four hundred yards across. "We were now shown a house 
which proved the last we saw ; the master offered us cocoa- 
nuts, and we refreshed ourselves. Beyond this we went 
maybe six miles (it is difficult to guess distances when roads 
are bad as this was, for we were generally obliged to travel 
along the course of the river). We passed by several hollow 
places under stones where, we were told, that people who 
were benighted slept. At length we arrived at a place 
where the river was banked on each side with steep rocks ; 
and a cascade which fell from them made a pool so deep, 
that the Indians said we could not go beyond it they never 
did. Their business lay below the rocks, on each side of the 
plains, above which grew great plenty of vae. The avenues 
to these were truly dreadful, the rocks were nearly perpen- 
dicular, one being nearly a hundred feet in height, with its 
face constantly wet and slippery from the water of number- 
less springs. Directly up the face of even this was a road, 
or rather a succession of long pieces of bark of Hibiscus 
tiliaceus, which served as a rope to take hold of and scramble 
up from ledge to ledge, though upon these very ledges none 


but a goat or an Indian could have stood. One of these ropes 
was nearly thirty feet in length ; our guides offered to help 
us up this pass, but rather recommended one lower down, a 
few hundred yards away, which was much less dangerous. 
We did not choose to venture on it, as the sight which was 
to reward our hazard was nothing but a grove of vae trees, 
such as we had often seen before. 

In the whole course of this walk the rocks were almost 
constantly bare to the view, so that I had a most excellent 
opportunity of searching for any appearance of minerals, but 
saw not the smallest sign of any. The stones everywhere 
showed manifest signs of having been at some time or other 
burnt, indeed I have not yet seen a specimen of stone in the 
island that has not the visible marks of fire upon it ; small 
pieces indeed of the hatchet stone may be without them, but 
I have pieces of the same kind burnt almost to a pumice : 
the very clay upon the hills shows manifest signs of fire. 
Possibly the island owes its origin to a volcano, which now 
no longer burns, or, theoretically speaking, for the sake of 
those authors who balance this globe by a proper weight of 
continent placed near these latitudes, this necessary con- 
tinent may have been sunk by dreadful earthquakes and 
volcanoes two or three hundred fathoms under the sea, the 
tops of the highest mountains only remaining above the 
water in the shape of islands : an undoubted proof being 
that such a thing now exists, to the great support of their 
theory, which, were it not for this proof, would have been 
already totally demolished by the course our ship made 
from Cape Horn to this island. 

4t?L I employed myself in planting a large quantity of 
the seeds of water-melons, oranges, lemons, limes, etc., which 
I had brought from Eio de Janeiro ; they were planted on 
both sides of the fort in as many varieties of soil as I could 
choose. I have very little doubt of the former, especially, 
coming to perfection, as I have given away large quantities 
of seed among the natives ; I planted some also in the 
woods. The natives now continually ask me for seeds, and 
have already shown me melon plants of their raising which 


had taken perfectly well. The seeds that Captain Cook 
sowed have proved so bad that not one has come up, 
except the mustard ; even the cucumbers and melons have 
failed, owing probably to their having been packed in small 
bottles sealed down with rosin. 

7th. The carpenters were this morning employed in 
taking down the gates and palisades of our little forti- 
fication to make us firewood for the ship, when one of the 
Indians made shift to steal the staple and hook of the great 
gate. We were immediately apprised of the theft, to the 
great affright of our visitors, of whom the bell-tent was full ; 
their fears were, however, presently quieted, and I (as usual) 
set out on my ordinary occupation of thief-catching. The 
Indians most readily joined me, and away we set full cry, 
much like a pack of fox-hounds ; we ran and walked, and 
walked and ran, for, I believe, six miles with as little delay 
as possible, when we learnt that we had very early in the 
chase passed our game, who was washing in a brook when 
he saw us coming, and hid himself in the rushes. We 
returned to the place, and by some intelligence which some 
of our people got, found a scraper which had been stolen 
from the ship and was hid in those very rushes ; with this 
we returned, and Tubourai soon after brought the staple. 

12th. This morning Tupia came on board; he had ex- 
pressed his intention of going with us to England, a cir- 
cumstance which gives me much satisfaction ; he is certainly 
a most proper man, well born, chief Tahowa or priest of this 
island, consequently skilled in the mysteries of their religion ; 
but what makes him more than anything desirable is his 
experience in the navigation of these people and knowledge 
of the islands in these seas. He has told us the names of 
above seventy, at most of which he has himself been. The 
captain refuses to take him on his own account ; in my 
opinion sensibly enough, as the Government will never in 
all human probability take any notice of him. I therefore 
have resolved to take him ; thank Heaven, I have a suffi- 
ciency, and I do not know why I may not keep him as a 
curiosity as well as my neighbours do lions and tigers at a 


larger expense than he will ever probably put me to. The 
amusement I shall have in his future conversation, and the 
benefit which will be derived by this ship, as well as any 
other which may in the future be sent into these seas, will, 
I think, fully repay me. As soon as he had made his mind 
known, he said he would go ashore and return in the evening, 
when he would make a signal for a boat to be sent off for 
him. He took with him a miniature picture of mine to 
show his friends, and several little things to give them as 
parting presents. 


JULY 13 AUGUST 14, 1769 

Departure from Otahite Huahine Ulhietea God-houses Boats and boat- 
houses Otahah Bola-Bola Return to Ulhietea Reception by natives 
Dancing Pearls The King of Bola-Bola Native drama Oheteroa 
Dress Arms. 

13th July. About ten this morning we sailed from Otahite, 
leaving our friends, some of them at least, I really believe, 
personally sorry for our departure. Our nearest friends 
came on board at this critical time, except only Tubourai 
and Tamio ; we had Oborea, Otheothea, Taysa, Nuna, Tuanne, 
Matte, Pottatow, Polothearia, etc., on board. When the 
anchor was weighed they took their leaves tenderly enough, 
not without plenty of tears, though entirely without that 
clamorous weeping made use of by the other Indians, several 
boats of which were about the ship, shouting out their lament- 
ations, as vying with each other, not who should cry most, 
but who should cry loudest, a custom we had often con- 
demned in conversation with our particular friends, as 
savouring more of affected than real grief. 

Tupia, who after all his struggles stood firm at last in 
his resolution of accompanying us, parted with a few heart- 
felt tears, so I judge them to have been by the efforts I saw 
him make to hide them. He sent by Otheothea his last 
present, a shirt, to Potamia, Dootahah's favourite ; he and I 
went then to the topmast-head, where we stood a long time 
waving to the canoes as they went off, after which he came 
down and showed no further signs of seriousness or concern. 



1 5th. Our Indian often prayed to Tarn for a wind, and 
as often boasted to me of the success of his prayers, which 
I plainly saw he never began till he perceived a breeze so 
near the ship that it generally reached her before his prayer 
was finished. 

16th. This morning we were very near the island of 
Huahine; some canoes very soon came off, but appeared 
very much frightened ; one, however, came to us bringing a 
chief and his wife, who on Tupia's assurance of our friendship 
came on board. They resembled the Otahite people in 
language, dress, tattow, in short, in everything. Tupia has 
always said that the people of this island and Ulhietea will 
not steal, in which they indeed differ much from our late 
friends if they only keep up to their character. 

Soon after dinner we came to an anchor in a very small 
bay, called by the natives Owalle, and immediately went 
ashore. As soon as we landed Tupia squatted down on the 
ground, and ranging us on one side and the Indians on the 
other, began to pray to the chief who stood opposite to him, 
answering him in a kind of response ; this lasted about a 
quarter of an hour, in which time he sent at different inter- 
vals two handkerchiefs and some beads he had prepared for 
the purpose for Eatua ; these were sent among many messages 
which passed backwards and forwards with plantains, etc. 
In return for this present to their gods, which it seems was 
very acceptable, we had a hog given for our Eatua, which in 
this case will certainly be our stomachs. 

1*7 th. We found the productions here almost exactly the 
same as at Otahite upon the hills the rocks and slag were 
burnt if anything more than they were in that island. The 
people also were almost exactly like our late friends, but 
rather more stupid and lazy, in proof of which I need only 
say that we should have gone much higher up the hills than 
we did if we could have persuaded them to accompany us ; 
their only excuse was the fear of being killed by the fatigue. 
Their houses are very neat, and their boat-houses particularly 
very large : one of these I measured was fifty good paces in 
length, ten in breadth, and twenty-four feet in height. 


The Gothic arch of which it consisted was supported on one 
side by twenty-six, and on the other by thirty pillars, 
or rather clumsy thick posts of about two feet high and 
one thick ; most of these were carved with the heads 
of men, boys, or other devices, as the rough fancy and 
rougher workmanship of these stone-hatchet-furnished gentry 
suggested and executed. The flats were filled with very 
fine bread-fruit trees and an infinite number of cocoanuts, 
upon which latter the inhabitants seem to depend much 
more than those of Otahite ; we saw, however, large spaces 
occupied by lagoons and salt swamps, upon which neither 
bread-fruit nor cocoanut would thrive. 

18/^. This morning we went to take a further view of a 
building which we had seen yesterday, and admired a good 
deal, taking with us Tupia's boy Tayeto (he himself was too 
much engaged with his friends to have time to accompany us). 
The boy told us that the building was called JSwharre no 
Eatua, or the house of the god, but could not explain at all 
the use of it. It consisted of a chest whose lid was nicely 
sewed on, and very neatly thatched over with palm -nut 
leaves ; the whole was fixed on two poles by little arches of 
very neatly carved wood. These poles seemed to be used in 
carrying it from place to place, though when we saw it, it was 
supported upon two posts. One end of the chest was open, 
with a round hole within a square one ; this was yesterday 
stopped up with a piece of cloth, which, lest I should offend 
the people, I left untouched ; but to-day the cloth, and 
probably the contents of the chest, were removed, as there 
was nothing at all in it. 

Trade to-day does not go on with any spirit ; the people, 
when anything is offered them, will not rely on their own 
judgment, but take the opinion of twenty or thirty people 
about them, a proceeding which takes up much time. 

19^. This morning trade was rather better; we obtained 
three very large hogs and some pigs by producing hatchets, 
which had not been before given, and which we had hoped 
to have had no occasion for in an island not hitherto seen 
by Europeans. 


Huahine differs scarcely at all from Otahite, either in 
its productions or in the customs of the people. In all our 
researches here we have not found above ten or twelve new 
plants; there were, indeed, a few insects and a species of 
scorpion which we had not seen at Otahite. This island 
seems, however (this year, at least), to be a month more 
forward than the other, as the ripeness of the cocoanuts, 
now full of kernel, and the new bread-fruit, some of which 
is fit to eat, fully evinces. Of the cocoanut kernels they 
make a food, called poe, by scraping them fine and mixing 
them with yams, also scraped ; these are then put into a 
wooden trough, and hot stones laid among them. By this 
means a kind of oily hasty -pudding is made, which our 
people relished very well, especially when fried* 

The men here are large and stout ; one we measured was 
six feet three inches high and well made. The women are 
very fair, more so than at Otahite, though we saw none so 
handsome. Both sexes seemed to be less timid, as well as 
less curious ; the firing of a gun frightened them, but they 
did not fall down, as our Otahite friends generally did. On 
one of their people being taken in the act of stealing, and 
seized by the hair, the rest did not run away, but coming 
round, inquired into the cause, and, seemingly at least, ap- 
proving of the justice, recommended a beating for the 
offender, which was immediately put into practice. 

When they first came on board the ship they seemed 
struck with sights so new, and wondered at everything that 
was shown to them, but did not seem to search or inquire 
for matters of curiosity even so much as the people of 
Otahite did, although the latter had before seen almost 
everything we had to show them. 

20th. At noon to-day we came to anchor at Ulhietea, in 
a bay called by the natives Oapoa, the entrance of which 
is very near a small islet called Owhattera. Some Indians 
soon came on board, expressing signs of fear. There were 
two canoes, each of which brought a woman, I suppose, as a 
mark of confidence, and a pig as a present. To each of 
these ladies was given a spike -nail and some beads, with 



which they seemed much pleased. Tupia, who has always 
expressed much fear of the men of Bola-Bola, says that they 
have conquered this island, and will to-morrow come down 
and fight with us ; we therefore lose no time in going 
ashore, as we are to have to-day to ourselves. 

On landing Tupia repeated the ceremony of praying, as 
at Huahine, after which an English Jack was set up on 
shore, and Captain Cook took possession of this and the other 
three islands in sight, viz. Huahine, Otahah, and Bola- 
Bola, for the use of His Britannic Majesty. After this we 
walked together to a great marai, called Tapodeboatea, 
whatever that may signify. It is different from those of 
Otahite, consisting merely of walls of coral stones (some of 
an immense size) about eight feet high, filled up with 
smaller ones, and the whole ornamented with many planks 
set up on end, and carved throughout their entire length. 
In the neighbourhood of this we found the altar or Ewhatta, 
upon which lay the last sacrifice, a hog of about eighty 
pounds weight, which had been put up there whole, and 
very nicely roasted. Here were also four or five Ewharre 
no JEatua, or god-houses, which were made to be carried on 
poles ; one of these I examined by putting my head into it. 
Within was a parcel about five feet long and one thick, 
wrapped up in mats. These I tore with my fingers till I 
came to a covering of mat made of plaited cocoanut fibres, 
which it was impossible to get through, so I was obliged to 
desist, especially as what I had already done gave much 
offence to our new friends. In an adjoining long house, 
among several other things such as rolls of cloth, etc., was 
standing a model of a canoe about three feet long, upon 
which were tied eight human lower jaw-bones. Tupia told 
us that it was the custom of these islanders to cut off the 
jaw-bones of those whom they had killed in war. These 
were, he said, the jaw-bones of Ulhietea people, but how 
they came here, or why tied thus to a canoe, we could not 
understand ; we therefore contented ourselves with conjectur- 
ing that they were placed there as a trophy won back from 
the men of Bola-Bola, their mortal enemies. Night now 


came on apace, but Dr. Solander and I walked along shore 
a little way, and saw an Ewharre no Eatua, the under part of 
which was lined with a row of jaw-bones. These, we were 
told, were also those of Ulhietea men. We saw also cocoa- 
nut trees, the stems of which were hung round with nuts, 
so that no part could be seen ; these, we were told, were 
put there to dry a little, and be prepared for making poe. 
A tree of Ficus prolixa was in great perfection ; the trunk, 
or rather congeries of small roots, being forty-two paces in 

21 st. Dr. Solander and I walked out this morning and 
saw many boat-houses like that described at Huahine 
(p. Ill); on these the inhabitants were at work, making 
and repairing the large canoes called by them Pahie, at 
which business they worked with incredible cleverness, 
although their tools were as bad as possible. I will first 
give the description and dimensions of one of their boats, 
and then their method of building. Her extreme length 
from stem to stern, not reckoning the bending up of both 
those parts, 5 1 feet ; breadth in the clear at the top forward, 
14 inches, amidships 18, aft 15 ; in the bilge forward 32 
inches, amidships 35, aft 33 ; depth amidships, 3 feet 4 
inches ; height above the ground, 3 feet 6 inches ; her head 
raised, without the figure, 1 1 inches ; her stern, 8 feet 9 
inches ; the figure, 2 feet. Alongside of her was lashed 
another like her in all respects, but smaller in proportion, 
being only 33 feet in her extreme length. The form of 
these canoes can be better shown by a drawing than by 
any description ; the annexed may 
serve to give some idea of a sec- 
tion : a a is the first seam, b I the 
second, cc the third. The first 
stage, or keel under a a, is made 
of trees hollowed out like a 
trough. For this purpose they 
choose the longest trees they can find, so that two or three 
form the bottom of their largest boat (some of which are 
much larger than that described here, as I make a rule to 



describe everything of this kiiid from the commonest size). 
The next stage, under 1 1, is formed of straight planks about 
4 feet long, 15 inches broad, and 2 inches thick. The 
third stage, under c c, is made, like the bottom, of trunks 
of trees hollowed out into its bilging form. The last stage, 
above cc, is formed also out of the trunks of trees, so that 
the moulding is of one piece with the plank. This work, 
difficult as it would be to an European with his iron tools, 
they perform without iron and with amazing dexterity. 
They hollow out with their stone axes as fast, at least, as 
our carpenters could do, and dubb, though slowly, with pro- 
digious nicety. I have seen them take off the skin of an 
angular plank without missing a stroke, the skin itself scarce 
one-sixteenth part of an inch in thickness. Boring the holes 
through which their sewing is to pass seems to be their 
greatest difficulty. Their tools are made of the bones of men, 
generally the thin bone of the upper arm ; these they grind 
very sharp and fix to a handle of wood, making the instru- 
ment serve the purpose of a gouge, by striking it with a 
mallet made of hard black wood. With them they would 
do as much work as with iron, were it not that the brittle 
edge of the tool is very liable to be broken. When they 
have prepared their planks, etc., the keel is laid on blocks 
and the whole canoe put together much in the same manner 
as we do a ship, the sides being supported by stanchions and 
all the seams wedged together before the last sewing is put 
on, so that they become tolerably tight, considering that they 
are without caulking. 

With these boats they venture themselves out of sight 
of land : we saw several of them at Otahite which had come 
from Ulhietea ; and Tupia has told us that they undertake 
voyages of twenty days ; whether this is true or false I do 
not affirm. They keep the boats very carefully under such 
boat-houses as are described on p. 111. 

22nd. We saw a double pahie such as that described 
yesterday, but much longer. She had upon her an awning 
supported by pillars, which held the floor at least four feet 
above the deck or upper surface of the boats. We saw 

JULY 1769 OTAHAH 117 

also a trough for making Poe poe, or sour paste, carved out 
of hard black stone such as their hatchets are made of; it 
was 2 feet 7 inches long and 1 foot 4 broad, very thick and 
substantial, and supported by four short feet, the whole 
neatly finished and perfectly polished, though quite without 
ornaments. To-day, as well as yesterday, every one of us 
who walked out saw many jaw-bones fixed up in houses, as 
well as out-of-doors, which confirmed what we had been 
told of their taking these bones instead of scalps. 

24th. The captain attempted to go out of the reef by 
another passage situated between the two islets of Opourourou 
and Taumou. Whilst the ship was turning to windward 
within the reef she narrowly escaped going ashore ; the 
quartermaster in the chains called out two fathoms, but as the 
ship drew at least fourteen feet, it was impossible that such 
a shoal could be under her keel, so that either the man was 
mistaken, or the ship went along the edge of a coral rock, 
many of which are here as steep as a wall. 

Soon after this we came to an anchor, and I went ashore, 
but saw nothing except a small rnarai, ornamented with two 
sticks about five feet long, each hung with as many jaw- 
bones as possible, and one having a skull stuck on its top. 

28th> Dr. Solander and I went ashore on the island of 
Otahah. We went through a large breach in the reef 
situate between two islands called Toahattu and Whennuaia, 
within which we found very spacious harbours, particularly 
in one bay, which was at least three miles deep. The in- 
habitants as usual, so that long before night we had pur- 
chased three hogs, twenty-one fowls, and as many yams and 
plantains as the boat would hold ; indeed, of these last we 
might have had any quantity, and a more useful refreshment 
they are to us, in my opinion, even than the pork. They 
have been for this week past boiled, and served instead of 
bread ; every man in the ship is fond of them, and with us 
in the cabin they agree much better than the bread-fruit 
did. But what makes any refreshment of this kind more 
acceptable is that our bread is at present so full of vermin 
that, notwithstanding all possible care, I have sometimes had 


twenty at a time in my mouth, every one of which tasted 
as hot as mustard. 

The island itself seemed more barren than Ulhietea, 
though the produce was very similar, but bread-fruit was 
less plentiful than plantains and cocoanuts. The people 
were exactly the same, so much so that I did not observe 
one new custom worth mention. They were not very 
numerous, but nocked from all quarters to the boat where- 
ever she went, bringing with them whatever they had to 
sell. Here, as well as in the rest of the islands, they paid 
us the same compliment as they are used to pay to their 
own kings, uncovering their shoulders ^-nd lapping their 
garments round their breasts. Here particularly they were 
so scrupulously observant of it that a man was sent with us 
who called out to every one we met, telling him who we 
were and what they should do. 

29th. We are this morning close under the island of 
Bola-Bola, whose high craggy peak appears, on this side at 
least, totally inaccessible to man ; round it is a large quantity 
of low land, which seems very barren. Tupia tells us that 
between the shore and the mountain is a large salt lagoon, 
a certain sign of barrenness in this climate. 

31st. Tupia to-day shows us a large breach in the reef 
of Otahah, through which the ship might conveniently pass 
into a large bay, where he says there is good anchorage. 
We have now a very good opinion of Tupia's pilotage, 
especially since we observed him at Huahine send a man 
to dive down to the heel of the ship's rudder ; this the man 
did several times, and reported to him the depth of water 
the ship drew, since when he had never suffered her to go 
in less than five fathoms without being much alarmed. 

2nd August. Dr. Solander and I have spent this day ashore 
[on Ulhietea], and been very agreeably entertained by the 
reception we have met with from the people, though we 
were not fortunate enough to meet with one new plant. 
Every one seemed to fear and respect us, but nobody to 
mistrust us in the smallest degree. Men, women, and 
children came crowding after us, but no one showed us 


the least incivility; on the contrary, wherever there was 
dirt or water to pass over they strove who should carry us 
on their backs. On arriving at the houses of the principal 
people we were received with a ceremony quite new to us ; 
the people, who generally followed us, rushed into the 
houses before us, leaving, however, a lane sufficiently wide 
for us to pass through. When we came in, we found them 
ranged on either side of a long mat spread upon the ground, 
at the farther end of which sat one or more very young 
women or children, neatly dressed, who, without stirring, 
expected us to come up to them and make them presents, 
which we did with no small pleasure, for prettier or better 
dressed children we had nowhere seen. One of these 
Tettuas, as they were called, was about six years old, her 
apron or gown was red, and round her head was wound a 
large quantity of tamou (plaited hair), an ornament they 
value more than anything they have ; she sat at the farthest 
end of a mat thirty feet long, on which no one of the 
spectators presumed to set a foot, notwithstanding the 
crowd. She was leaning upon the arm of a well-looking, 
well-dressed woman of about thirty, possibly her nurse. 
We walked up to her, and as soon as we approached she 
stretched out her hand to receive the beads we were to give. 
Had she been a princess-royal of England giving her hand 
to be kissed, no instructions could have taught her to do it 
with a better grace ; so much is untaught nature superior 
to art, that I have seen no sight of the kind that has struck 
me half so much. 

Grateful possibly for the presents we had made to these 
girls, the people on our return tried every method to oblige 
us, particularly in one house where the master ordered one 
of his people to dance for our amusement, which he did thus. 
He put upon his head a large cylindrical basket about four 
feet long and eight inches in diameter, on the front of which 
was fastened a facing of feathers bending forwards at the 
top and edged round with sharks' teeth and the tail feathers 
of tropic birds. With this on he danced, moving slowly, 
and often turning his head round, sometimes swiftly throwing 


the end of his head-dress, or whow, so near the faces of the 
spectators as to make them start back, which was a joke 
that seldom failed to make everybody laugh, especially if it 
happened to one of us. 

We had also an opportunity of seeing the inside of the 
Ewharre no Eatua, so often mentioned : there were three of 
them, much ornamented with jaw-bones, and very full of 
bundles wrapped up in their cloth ; these the people opened 
after some persuasion, and in them we found complete skulls, 
with their lower jaw-bones in their proper places; perhaps 
these were the skulls of those of the victorious party who 
died in battle, and the jaw-bones fastened on the outside 
were those of the conquered, but for this conjecture I had 
no authority from the Indians, who seemed to avoid as much 
as possible any questions upon the subject. 

3rd. Went along shore in the opposite direction to that 
we took yesterday, intending to spend most of our time in 
purchasing stock, which we have always found the people 
ready to part with at their houses, and selling cheaper than 
at the market. In the course of our walk we met a set of 
strolling dancers, called by the Indians heiva, who detained 
us two hours, and during all that time entertained us highly 
indeed. The party consisted of three drums, two women 
dancers and six men ; these Tupia tells us go round the 
island, as we have seen the little heivas do at Otahite, but 
differ from those in that most of the members of the heiva 
here are important people, of which assertion we had in the 
case of one of the women an undoubted proof. 

The women had on their heads a quantity of tamou, or 
plaited hair, which was rolled, and flowers of gardenia were 
stuck between the interstices, making a head-dress truly 
elegant. Their shoulders, arms, and breasts as low as their 
arms were bare, below this they were covered with black 
cloth, and under each shoulder was placed a bunch of black 
feathers much as our ladies' nosegays or bouquets. On 
their hips rested a quantity of cloth plaited very full, which 
reached almost up to their arms, and fell down below into 
long petticoats, reaching below their feet, which they managed 

AUG. 1769 PEARLS 121 

with as much dexterity as our opera dancers could have 
done ; these plaits were brown and white alternately, but 
the petticoats were all white. In this dress they advanced 
sideways, keeping excellent time to the drums, which beat 
briskly and loud : they soon began to shake their hips, giving 
the folds of cloth that lay upon them a very quick motion, 
continued during the whole dance. They sometimes stood, 
sometimes sat, and sometimes rested on their knees and 
elbows, generally moving their fingers with a quickness 
scarcely to be imagined. 

One of these girls had in. her ear three pearls, one very 
large but so foul that it was worth scarce anything ; the 
other two were as large as a middling pea, and of a clear 
water as well as a good shape. For these I offered at different 
times any price the owner would have, but she would not 
hear of parting with them ; I offered once the price of four 
hogs down and anything she would ask beside. They have 
always set a value upon their pearls, if tolerably good, almost 
equal to our valuation, supposing them (as they always are, 
however) not spoiled by the drilling. 

Between the dances of the women (for they sometimes 
rested) the men acted a kind of interlude, in which they 
spoke as well as danced ; we were not, however, sufficiently 
versed in their language to be able to give an account of 
the drama. 

4th. We had often heard Tupia speak of lands belonging 
to him which had been taken away by the Bola-Bola men. 
These, he tells us now, are situated in the very bay where 
the ship lies. On going ashore this morning, the inhabitants 
confirmed what he had told us, and showed us several 
different whennuas, which, they all acknowledged, belonged 
of right to him. The greater number of the people here 
are, it seems, the so-much-feared Bola-Bola men, and we 
were told that to-morrow Opoony, the king of that island, 
will come to visit us. We are much inclined to receive 
him civilly, as we have met with so civil a reception from 
his subjects. 

We saw the game which the Indians call erowhaw. It 


consists of nothing more than pitching a kind of light lance, 
headed with hard wood, at a mark. Of this amusement they 
seem to be very fond, but none that we then saw excelled 
in doing it, not above one in twelve striking the mark, 
which was the bole of a plantain tree about twenty yards 

5th. Went in the boat to the southward with the captain, 
etc. ; saw two inlets in the reef, and good harbours within 
them. They were both situate close to islands, having one on 
each side of them ; indeed, in general, I have seen breaches 
in reefs wherever there are islands upon them. The people 
along shore were very poor, so much so that after all our 
day's work we did not procure either hog or fowl, nor, indeed, 
did we see either. 

Qtk. Yesterday Opoony, the king of Bola-Bola, sent his 
compliments and a present of hogs and fowls to the king of 
the ship, sending word also that he would in person wait 
upon him to-day. We therefore all stayed at home in hopes 
of the honour of his Excellency's visit. We were disappointed 
in our expectations, but not disagreeably, for instead of his 
Majesty came three handsome, lively girls, who stayed with 
us the morning, and took off all regret for the want of his 
Majesty's company. 

In the evening we all went to see the great king, and 
thank him for his civilities. The king of the Tata-toas, or 
clubmen, who have conquered this island, and are the terror 
of all others, we expected to see young, lively, handsome, 
etc. etc., but were disappointed when we were led to an old, 
decrepit, half-blind man, who seemed to have scarce reason 
enough left to send hogs, much less gallantry enough to send 

*lth. We learned from Opoony yesterday that his chief 
residence was atOtahah: to this place he proposed to accompany 
us to-day. Captain Cook and Dr. Solander went upon the 
expedition, while I stayed at home. They proceeded with 
Opoony and all his train, and many canoes, to a bay in Otahah 
called Obooto-booto, his Majesty's chief residence. Here the 
houses were very large and good, and the canoes also finer 



than any the gentlemen had before seen. Such a prelude 
made them expect much from the owners a boat-load of 
hogs was the least they thought of, especially as they had 
plenty of Spartan money to pay for them ; but, alack ! 
the gentlemen who had fatigued themselves with building 
their houses chose to refresh themselves with eating 
the hogs, so that after the whole day was spent a small 
number only were procured in proportion to what were 

Took Mr. Parkinson to the heiva that he might sketch 
the dresses. The dancing was exactly the same as I had 
seen before, except that another woman was added to the 
former two. The interludes of the men were varied ; they 
gave us five or six which resembled much the drama of an 
English stage dance. Their names and relationships, as 
they are chiefly one family, are : (1) Tiarree no Horaa, a 
king or chief. (2) WTiannooutooa, wife to 1. (3) Otodbooi, 
sister to 2. (4) Orai, elder brother to 2. (5) Tettuanne, 
younger brother to 2. (6) Otehammena, dancing girl. (7) 
Ouratooa, do. (8), MatteJiea, father to 1. (9) Opipi, mother 
to 1. 

8th. Dr. Solander and I went along shore to gather 
plants, buy hogs, or anything else that might occur. We 
took our course towards the heiva, and at last came up with 
it. It has gradually moved from very near us till now it is 
two leagues off. Tupia tells us that it will in this manner 
move gradually round the island. Our friends received us, 
as usual, with all manner of civility, dancing, and giving us, 
after the amusement, a very good dinner, as well as offering 
us a quantity of their cloth as a present, which we should 
have accepted had we not been full-stocked with it before. 
We now understood a little more of the interludes than 
formerly. I shall describe one as well as I can. The men 
were divided into two parties, differing in the colour of their 
clothes, one brown, the other white. The chief of the browns 
gives a basket of meat to his servants that they might take 
care of it. The whites represent thieves who constantly 
attempt to steal it, dancing all the time. Several different 


expedients they make use of without success, till at last 
they find the watchmen asleep ; they then go gently up to 
them, and lifting them off from the basket, which for security 
they have placed in their middle, they go off with their 
prize. The others awake and dance, but seem to show little 
regret for their loss, or indeed hardly to miss the basket 
at all. 

9th. We resolved to sail as soon as the people left off 
bringing provisions, which about noon they did, and we 
again launched out into the ocean in search of what chance 
and Tupia might direct us to. 

13th. Many albecores have been about the ship all 
this evening. Tupia took one, and had not his rod broken, 
would probably have taken many. He used an Indian 
fish-hook made of mother-of-pearl, so that it served at the 
same time for hook and bait. 

At noon to-day, high land in sight, which proves to be 
an island which Tupia calls Oheteroa. 

14tth. The island of Oheteroa was to all appearance more 
barren than anything we have seen in these seas, the chief 
produce seeming to be etoa (from the wood of which the 
people make their weapons) ; indeed, everywhere along shore 
where we saw plantations, the trees were of this kind. It 
is without a reef, and the ground in the bay we were in was 
so foul and coralline, that although a ship might come almost 
close to the shore, she could not possibly anchor. 

The people seemed strong, lusty, and well made, but were 
rather browner than those we have left behind ; they were 
not tattowed like them, but had instead black marks 
about as broad as my hand under their armpits, the sides 
of which marks were deeply indented. They had also 
smaller circles round their arms and legs. Their dress 
was indeed most singular, as well as the cloth of which 
it was made. It consisted of the same materials as the 
inhabitants of the other islands make use of, and was gener- 
ally dyed of a very bright deep yellow ; upon this was spread 
in some cases a composition, either red or of a dark lead 
colour, which covered it like oil colour or varnish. Upon 

AUG. 1769 



this again were painted stripes in many different patterns 
with infinite regularity, much in the same way as lustring 
silks in England, all 
the straight lines upon 
them being drawn with 
such accuracy that we 
were almost in doubt 
whether or not they 

were stamped on with some kind of press. The red cloth was 
painted in this manner with black, the lead-coloured with 
white. Of this cloth, generally the lead-coloured, they had 
on a short jacket that reached about down to their knees, and 
made of one piece, with a hole through which they put their 
heads, the sides of which hole differed from anything I have 
seen, being stitched with long stitches. This was tied round 
their bodies by a piece of yellow cloth which passed behind 
their necks and came across the breasts in two broad stripes 
crossing each other ; it was then collected round the waist 
in the form of a belt, under which was another of the red 
cloth, so that the whole made a very gay and warlike 
appearance. Some had on their heads caps, as described 
above, of the tails of tropic birds, but these did not become 
them so well as a piece of white or lead-coloured cloth, 
which most of them had wound on their heads like a small 

Their arms consisted of long lances made of the etoa, or 
hard wood, well polished and sharpened at one end ; of these 
some were nearly twenty feet long, and scarcely as thick as 
three fingers ; they had also clubs or pikes of the same 
wood about seven feet long, well polished, and sharpened 
at one end into a broad point. How expert they may 
be in the use of these we cannot tell, but the weapons 
themselves seem intended more for show than use, as the 
lance was not pointed with stings of sting-rays, and their 
clubs or pikes, which must do more execution by their 
weight than their sharpness, were not more than half as 
heavy as the smallest I have seen in the other islands. 
Defensive weapons I saw none ; they, however, guarded 


themselves against such weapons as their own by mats 
folded and laid upon their breasts under their clothes. 

Of the few things we saw among the people, every one 
was ornamented in a manner infinitely superior to anything 
we had hitherto seen. Their cloth was of a better colour, 
as well as nicely painted ; their clubs were better cut and 
polished ; the canoe which we saw, though very small and 
narrow, was nevertheless very highly carved and ornamented. 
One thing particularly in her seemed to be calculated rather 
as an ornament for something that was never intended to 
go into the water, and that was two lines of small white 
feathers placed on the outside of the cajioe, and which were, 
when we saw them, thoroughly wet with the water. 

We have now seen seventeen islands in these seas, 
and have landed on five of the most important; of these 
the language, manners, and customs agreed most exactly. 
I should therefore be tempted to conclude that those 
islands which we have not seen do not differ materially at 
least from the others. The account I shall give of them is 
taken chiefly from Otahite, where I was well acquainted with 
their policy, as I found them to be a people so free from 
deceit that I trusted myself among them almost as freely 
as I could do in my own country, sleeping continually in 
their houses in the woods without so much as a single 
companion. Whether or not I am right in judging their 
manners and customs to be general among these seas, any 
one who gives himself the trouble of reading this journal 
through can judge as well as I myself. 



Description of the people Tattowing Cleanliness Clothing Ornaments 
and head-dress Houses 'Food Produce of the sea Fruits Animals 
Cooking Mahai- making Drinking salt-water Meals Women eat 
apart from the men Pastimes Music Attachment to old customs 
Making of cloth from bark Dyes and dyeing Mats Manufacture of 
fishing-nets Fish-hooks Carpentry, etc. Boats and boat-building 
Fighting, fishing, and travelling ivahahs Instability of the boats 
Paddles, sails, and ornaments Pahies Predicting the weather 
Astronomy Measurement of time and space Language Its resemblance 
to other languages Diseases Medicine and surgery Funeral ceremonies 
Disposal of the dead Religion Origin of mankind Gods Priests 
Marriage Mara/is Bird-gods Government Ranks Army and battles 

ALL the islands I have seen are very populous along the 
whole length of the coast, where are generally large flats 
covered with a great many bread-fruit and cocoanut trees. 
There are houses scarcely fifty yards apart, with their little 
plantations of plantains, the trees from which they make 
their cloth, etc. But the inland parts are totally uninhabited, 
except in the valleys, where there are rivers, and even there 
there are but a small proportion of people in comparison with 
the numbers who live upon the flats. 

These people are of the larger size of Europeans, all very 
well made, and some handsome, both men and women ; the 
only bad feature they have is their noses, which are in 
general flat, but to balance this their teeth are almost with- 
out exception even and white to perfection, and the eyes of 
the women especially are full of expression and fire. In 
colour they differ very much ; those of inferior rank who 


are obliged in the exercise of their profession, fishing 
especially, to be much exposed to the sun and air, are 
of a dark brown, while those of superior rank, who spend 
most of their time in their houses under shelter, are seldom 
browner (the women particularly) than that kind of brunette 
which many in Europe prefer to the finest red and white. 
Complexion, indeed, they seldom have, though some I have 
seen show a blush very manifestly ; this is perhaps owing 
to the thickness of their skin, but that fault is in my 
opinion well compensated by their infinite smoothness, much 
superior to anything I have met with in Europe. 

The men, as I have before said, are rather large. I 
have measured one 6 feet 3 J inches. The superior women 
are also as tall as Europeans, but the inferior sort are 
generally small. Their hair is almost universally black 
and rather coarse, this the women wear always cropped 
short round their ears ; the men, on the other hand, wear 
it in many various ways, sometimes cropping it short, some- 
times allowing it to grow very long, and tying it at the 
top of their heads or letting it hang loose on their shoulders, 
etc. Their beards they all wear in many different fashions, 
always, however, plucking out a large part of them and 
keeping what is left very clean and neat. Both sexes 
eradicate every hair from under their armpits, and they 
looked upon it as a great mark of uncleanliness in us that 
we did not do the same. 

During our stay in these islands I saw some, not more 
than five or six, who were a total exception to all I have 
said above. They were whiter even than we, but of a dead 
colour, like that of the nose of a white horse ; their eyes, 
hair, eyebrows, and beards were also white ; they were 
universally short-sighted, and always looked unwholesome, 
the skin scurfy and scaly, and the eye often full of rheum. 
As no two of them had any connection with one another, 
I conclude that the difference of colour, etc., was totally 
accidental, and did not at all run in families. 

So much for their persons. I shall now mention their 
methods of painting their bodies, or tattow as it is called in 

1769 TATTOWING 129 

their language. This they do by inlaying black under their 
skins, in such a manner as to be indelible. Every one is 
thus marked in different parts of his body, according maybe 
to his humour, or different circumstances of his life. Some 
have ill-designed figures of men, birds or dogs ; but they 
more generally have a Z, either plain as is generally the 
case with the women on every joint of their fingers and toes 
and often round the outside of their feet or in different 
figures such as squares, circles, crescents, etc., which both 
sexes have on their arms and legs ; in short, they have an 
infinite diversity of figure in which they place this mark. 
Some of them we were told had significations ; but these we 
never learnt to our satisfaction. Their faces are generally 
left without any marks ; I did not see more than one instance 
to the contrary. Some few old men had the greater part 
of their bodies covered with large patches of black, which 
ended in deep indentations, like coarse imitations of flame ; 
these we were told were not natives of Otahite, but came 
from a low island called Noonoora. Although they vary so 
much in the application of the figures I have mentioned 
that both the quantity and situation seem to depend entirely 
upon the humour of each individual yet all the islanders I 
have seen (except those of Oheteroa) agree in having their 
buttocks covered with a deep black. Over this most have 
arches, which are often a quarter of an inch broad, drawn 
one above the other as high as their short ribs, and neatly 
worked on their edges with indentations, etc. These arches 
are their great pride : both men and women show them with 
great pleasure, whether as a mark of beauty, or a proof of 
their perseverance and resolution in bearing pain I cannot 
tell. The pain in doing this is almost intolerable, especially 
the arches upon the loins, which are so much more susceptible 
to pain than the fleshy buttocks. 

The colour they use is lamp black prepared from the 
smoke of a kind of oily nut, used by them instead of candles. 
This is kept in cocoanut shells, and occasionally mixed with 
water for use. Their instruments for pricking this under 
the skin are made of flat bone or shell ; the lower part of 



which is cut into sharp teeth, numbering from three to twenty, 
according to the purposes it is to be used for ; the upper 
end is fastened to a handle. The teeth are dipped into the 
black liquor, and then driven by quick sharp blows, struck 
upon the handle with a stick used for that purpose, into the 
skin, so deeply that every stroke is followed by a small 
quantity of blood, or serum at least, and the part so marked 
remains sore for many days before it heals. 

I saw this operation performed on the 5th of July on 
the buttocks of a girl about fourteen years of age ; for some 
time she bore it with great resolution, but afterwards began 
to complain; and in a little time grew so outrageous that 
all the threats and force her friends could use could hardly 
oblige her to endure it. I had occasion to remain in an 
adjoining house an hour at least after this operation began, 
and yet went away before it was finished, in which time 
only one side was blacked, the other having been done some 
weeks before. 

It is performed between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, 
and so essential is it that I have never seen one single 
person of years of maturity without it. What can be a 
sufficient inducement to suffer so much pain is difficult to 
say ; not one Indian (though I have asked hundreds) would 
ever give me the least reason for it. Possibly superstition 
may have something to do with it, nothing else in my opinion 
could be a sufficient cause for so apparently absurd a custom. 
As for the smaller marks upon the fingers, arms, etc., they 
may be intended only for beauty ; our European ladies have 
found the convenience of patches, and something of that 
kind is more useful here where the best complexions are 
much inferior to theirs in England ; and yet whiteness is 
esteemed the first essential in beauty. 

They are certainly as cleanly a people as any under the 
sun ; they all wash their whole bodies in running water as 
soon as they rise in the morning, at noon, and before they 
sleep at night. If they have not such water near their 
houses, as often happens, they will go a good way to it. As 
for their lice, had they the means only they would certainly 


be as free from them as any inhabitants of so warm a climate 
could be. Those to whom combs were given proved this, 
for those with whom I was best acquainted kept themselves 
very clean during our stay by the use of them. Eating lice 
is a custom which none but children, and those of the inferior 
people, can be charged with. Their clothes also, as well as 
their persons, are kept almost without spot or stain ; the 
superior people spend much of their time in repairing, dye- 
ing, etc., the cloth, which seems to be a genteel amusement 
for the ladies here as it is in Europe. 

Their clothes are either of a kind of cloth made of the 
bark of a tree, or mats of several different sorts ; of all these 
and of their manner of making them I shall speak in another 
place ; here I shall only mention their method of covering 
and adorning their persons, which is most diverse, as they 
never form dresses, or sew any two pieces together. A 
piece of cloth, generally two yards wide and eleven long, 
is sufficient clothing for any one, and this is put on in a 
thousand different ways, often very genteelly. Their formal 
dress however is, among the women, a kind of petticoat, parou, 
wrapped round their hips, and reaching to about the middle 
of their legs; and one, two, or three pieces of thick cloth, 
about two and a half yards long and one wide, called tebuta, 
through a hole in the middle of which they put their heads, 
and suffer the sides to hang before and behind, the open 
edges serving to give their arms liberty of movement. Round 
the ends of this, about as high as their waists, are tied two 
or three large pieces of thin cloth, and sometimes one or two 
more thrown loosely over their shoulders, for the rich seem 
to take the greatest pride in wearing a large quantity of cloth. 
The dress of the men differs but little from this, their bodies 
are rather more bare, and instead of the petticoat they have 
a piece of cloth (maro) passed between their legs and round 
their waists, which gives them rather more liberty to use 
their limbs than the* women's dress will allow. Thus much 
of the richer people ; the poorer sort have only a smaller 
allowance of cloth given them from the tribes or families to 
which they belong, and must use that to the best advantage. 


It is no uncommon thing for the richest men to come to 
see us with a large quantity of cloth rolled round the loins, 
and all the rest of the body naked ; though the cloth wrapped 
round them was sufficient to have clothed a dozen people. 
The women at sunset always bared their bodies down to the 
waist, which seemed to be a kind of easy undress to them ; 
as it is to our ladies to pull off any finery that has been used 
during the course of the day, and change it for a loose gown 
or capuchin. 

Both sexes shade their faces from the sun with little 
bonnets of cocoanut leaves, which they make occasionally 
in a very few minutes ; some have these made of fine mat- 
ting, but that is less common. Of matting they have 
several sorts ; some very fine, which is used in exactly the 
same manner as cloth for their dresses, chiefly in rainy 
weather, as the cloth will not bear the least wet. 

Ornaments they have very few. They are very fond of 
earrings, but wear them only in one ear. When we arrived 
they had their own earrings made of shell, stone, berries, 
red peas, and some small pearls, of which they wore three 
tied together; but our beads very quickly supplied their 
place. They are also very fond of flowers, especially of the 
Cape jasmine, of which they have great plenty planted near 
their houses. These they stick into the holes of their ears 
and into their hair, if they have enough of them, which is 
but seldom. The men wear feathers, often the tails of tropic 
birds stuck upright in their hair. They have also a kind 
of wig made upon one string, of the hair of men or dogs, or 
of cocoanut, which they tie under their hair at the back of the 
head. I have seen them also wear whimsical garlands made 
of a variety of flowers stuck into a piece of the rind of 
plantain, or of scarlet peas stuck upon a piece of wood with 
gum, but these are not common. But their great pride in 
dress seems to be centred in what they call tamou, which is 
human hair plaited scarcely thicker than common thread ; of 
this I may easily affirm that I have seen pieces above a mile 1 

1 21st January 1772, measured one 6144 feet, another 7294 feet. (Note ty 

1769 DWELLINGS 133 

in length, worked on end without a single knot ; and I 
have seen five or six of such pieces wound round the head of 
one woman, the effect of which, if done with taste, was most 
becoming. Their dancing dresses I have described in the 
island of Ulhietea ; and that of the Heiva I shall when I 
come to their mourning ceremonies. They have also several 
others suited to particular ceremonies which I had not an 
opportunity of seeing, although I was desirous of doing so, 
as the singular taste of those I did see promised much novelty, 
at least, if not something worth imitation, in whatever they 
take pains with. 

I had almost forgotten the oil (monoe it is called in 
their language) with which they anoint their heads, a custom 
more disagreeable to Europeans than any other among them. 
This is made of cocoanut oil, in which some sweet woods 
or flowers are infused. It is most commonly very rancid, 
and consequently the wearers of it smell most disagreeably ; 
at first we found it so, but very little custom reconciled me, 
at least, completely to it. 

The houses, or rather dwellings, of these people are 
admirably adapted to the continual warmth of the climate. 
They do not build them in villages or towns, but separate 
each from the other, according to the size of the estate the 
owner of the house possesses. They are always in the 
woods ; and no more ground is cleared for each house than 
is just sufficient to hinder the dropping off the branches from 
rotting the thatch with which they are covered, so that you 
step from the house immediately under shade, and that the 
most beautiful imaginable. No country can boast such 
delightful walks as this ; for the whole plains where the 
people live are covered with groves of bread-fruit and cocoa- 
nut trees without underwood. These are intersected in all 
directions by the paths which go from one house to the 
other, so that the whole country is one shade, than which 
nothing can be more grateful in a climate where the sun has 
so powerful an influence. The houses are built without 
walls, so that the air, cooled by the shade of the trees, has 
free access in whatever direction it happens to blow. I 


shall describe one of the middle size, which will give an 
idea of all the rest, as they differ scarcely at all in fashion. 

Its length was 24 feet, breadth 11 feet, extreme height 
8-J- feet, height of the eaves 3-J- feet ; it consisted of nothing 
more than a thatched roof of the same form as in England, 
supported by three rows of posts or pillars, one on each 
side, and one in the middle. The floor was covered some 
inches deep with soft hay, upon which here and there were 
laid mats for the convenience of sitting down. This is 
almost the only furniture, as few houses have more than 
one stool, the property of the master of the family, and 
constantly used by him ; most are entirely without the stool. 
These houses serve them chiefly to sleep in, and make their 
cloth, etc. ; they generally eat in the open air under the 
shade of the nearest tree, if the weather is not rainy. The 
mats which serve them to sit upon in the daytime are also 
their beds at night ; the cloth which they wear in the day 
serves for covering ; and a little wooden stool, a block of 
wood, or bundle of cloth, for a pillow. Their order is gener- 
ally this : near the middle of the room sleep the master 
of the house and his wife, and with them the rest of the 
married people ; next to them the unmarried women ; next to 
them again, at some small distance, the unmarried men ; the 
servants (toutous) generally lie in the open air, or if it rains, 
come just within shelter. 

Besides these, there is another much larger kind of 
house. One in our neighbourhood measured in length 162 
feet, breadth 28^ feet, height of one of the middle row of 
pillars 18 feet. These are conjectured to be common to all 
the inhabitants of a district, raised and kept up by their 
joint labour. They serve, maybe, for any meetings or con- 
sultations, or for the reception of any visitors of con- 
sequence, etc. Such we have also seen used as dwelling- 
houses by the most important people. Some of them were 
much larger than this which I have here described. 

In the article of food these happy people may almost be 
said to be exempt from the curse of our forefathers ; scarcely 
can it be said that they earn their bread by the sweat of 

1769 FOOD 135 

their brow, when their chief sustenance, bread-fruit, is pro- 
cured with no more trouble than that of climbing a tree 
and pulling it down. Not that the trees grew here 
spontaneously, but, if a man in the course of his life planted 
ten such trees (which, if well done, might take the labour 
of an hour or thereabouts), he would as completely fulfil his 
duty to his own as well as future generations, as we, natives 
of less temperate climates, can do by toiling in the cold of 
winter to sow, and in the heat of summer to reap, the 
annual produce of our soil ; which, when once gathered into 
the barn, must again be re-sowed and re-reaped as often as the 
colds of winter or the heats of summer return to make such 
labour disagreeable. 

fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint 

may most truly be applied to these people; benevolent 
nature has not only provided them with necessaries, but 
with an abundance of superfluities. The sea, in the neigh- 
bourhood of which they always live, supplies them with 
vast variety of fish, better than is generally met with 
between the tropics, but these they get not without some 
trouble. Every one desires to have them, and there is not 
enough for all, though while we remained in these seas we 
saw more species perhaps than our island can boast of. 
I speak now only of what is more properly called fish, but 
almost everything which comes out of the sea is eaten and 
esteemed by these people. Shell-fish, lobsters, crabs, even 
sea insects, and what the seamen call blubbers of many 
kinds, conduce to their support ; some of the latter, indeed, 
which are of a tough nature, are prepared by suffering them 
to stink. Custom will make almost any meat palatable, 
and the women, especially, are fond of this, though after 
they had eaten it, I confess I was not extremely fond of 
their company. 

Besides the bread-fruit the earth almost spontaneously 
produces cocoanuts ; bananas of thirteen sorts, the best I have 
ever eaten ; plantains, but indifferent ; a fruit not unlike an 
apple, which, when ripe, is very pleasant ; sweet potatoes ; 


yams ; cocos, a kind of arum, known in the East Indies by 
the name of ffabava ; l a fruit known there by the name of 
eng. mallow, 2 and considered most delicious ; sugar-cane, 
which the inhabitants eat raw ; a root of the salop kind, 
called by the inhabitants pea ; 3 the root also of a plant 
called ethee ; and a fruit in a pod like a large hull of a 
kidney bean, 4 which, when roasted, eats much like a chestnut, 
and is called ahee. Besides these there is the fruit of a tree 
called wharra, 5 in appearance like a pine-apple ; the fruit of 
a tree called nono ; the roots, and perhaps leaves of a fern ; 
and the roots of a plant called theve : which four are eaten 
only by the poorer sort of people in times of scarcity. 

Of tame animals they have hogs, fowls, and dogs, which 
latter we learned to eat from them ; and few were there of 
the nicest of us but allowed that a South Sea dog was next 
to an English lamb. This indeed must be said in their 
favour, that they live entirely upon vegetables ; probably our 
dogs in England would not eat half as well. Their pork 
certainly is most excellent, though sometimes too fat ; their 
fowls are not a bit better, rather worse maybe, than ours 
at home, and often very tough. Though they seem to 
esteem flesh very highly, yet in all the islands I have seen, 
the quantity they have of it is very unequal to the 
number of their people ; it is therefore seldom used among 
them, even the principal chiefs do not have it every day or 
even every week, though some of them had pigs that we 
saw quartered upon different estates, as we send cocks to 
walk in England. When any of these chiefs kills a hog, 
it seems to be divided almost equally among all his 
dependents, he himself taking little more than the rest. 
Vegetables are their chief food, and of these they eat a large 

Cookery seems to have been but little studied here ; 
they have only two methods of applying fire. Broiling 

1 Colocasia antiquorum, Schott., better known by its New Zealand name 
taro (see p. 253). 2 Hibiscus esculentus, Linn. ?. 

3 Tacca pinnalifida, Forst. 4 Lablab vulgaris, Savi. 

5 Pandanus odoratissimus, Linn. f. 

1769 COOKERY I37 

or baking, as we called it, is done thus : a hole is dug, the 
depth and size varying according to what is to be prepared, 
but seldom exceeding a foot in depth; in this is made 
a heap of wood and stones laid alternately, fire is then put 
to it, which, by the time it has consumed the wood, has 
heated the stones just sufficiently to discolour anything 
which touches them. The heap is then divided, half is left 
in the hole, the bottom being paved with them, and on them 
any kind of provisions are laid, always neatly wrapped up in 
leaves. Above these again are laid the remaining hot 
stones, then leaves again to the thickness of three or four 
inches, and over them any ashes, rubbish or dirt that is at 
hand. In this situation the food remains about two hours, 
in which time I have seen a middling-sized hog very well 
done ; indeed, I am of opinion that victuals dressed in this 
way are more juicy, if not more equally 'done, than when 
cooked by any of our European methods, large fish more 
especially. Bread-fruit cooked in this manner becomes soft, 
and something like a boiled potato, though not quite so 
farinaceous as a good one. Of this two or three dishes are 
made by beating it with a stone pestle till it becomes a 
paste, mixing water or cocoanut liquor with it, and adding 
ripe plantains, bananas, sour paste, etc. 

As I have mentioned sour paste, I will proceed to 
describe what it is. Bread-fruit, by what I can find, remains 
in season during only nine or ten of their thirteen months, 
so that a reserve of food must be made for those months 
when they are without it. For this purpose, the fruit is 
gathered when just upon the point of ripening, and laid in 
heaps, where it undergoes a fermentation, and becomes dis- 
agreeably sweet. The core is then taken out, which is 
easily done, as a slight pull at the stalk draws it out entire, 
and the rest of the fruit is thrown into a hole dug for that 
purpose, generally in their houses. The sides and bottom 
of this hole are neatly lined with grass, the whole is covered 
with leaves, and heavy stones laid upon them. Here it 
undergoes a second fermentation and becomes sourish, in 
which condition it will keep, as they told me, many months. 


Custom has, I suppose, made this agreeable to their palates, 
though we disliked it extremely ; we seldom saw them make 
a meal without some of it in some shape or form. 

As the whole making of this mahie, as they call it, 
depends upon fermentation, I suppose it does not always 
succeed; it is always done by the old women, who make a 
kind of superstitious mystery of it, no one except the people 
employed by them being allowed to come even into that 
part of the house where it is. I myself spoiled a large 
heap of it only by inadvertently touching some leaves that 
lay upon it as I walked by the outside of the house where 
it was ; the old directress of it told me that from that 
circumstance it would most certainly fail, and immediately 
pulled it down before my face, who did less regret 
the mischief I had done, as it gave me an opportunity of 
seeing the preparation, which, perhaps, I should not other- 
wise have been allowed to do. 

To this plain diet, prepared with so much simplicity, 
salt water is the universal sauce ; those who live at the 
greatest distance from the sea are never without it, keeping 
it in large bamboos set up against the sides of their houses. 
When they eat, a cocoanut-shell full of it always stands 
near them, into which they dip every morsel, especially of 
fish, and often leave the whole soaking in it, drinking at 
intervals large sups of it out of their hands, so that a man 
may use half a pint of it at a meal. They have also a 
sauce made of the kernels of cocoanuts fermented until 
they dissolve into a buttery paste, and beaten up with salt 
water ; the taste of this is very strong, and at first was to 
me most abominably nauseous. A very little use, however, 
reconciled me to it, so much so that I should almost prefer 
it to our own sauces with fish. It is not common among 
them, possibly it is thought ill-management among them to 
use cocoanuts so lavishly, or we were on the islands at a 
time when they were scarcely ripe enough for this purpose. 

Small fish they often eat raw, and sometimes large ones. 
I myself, by being constantly with them, learnt to do the 
same, insomuch that I have often made meals of raw fish 

1769 NATIVE MEALS 139 

and bread-fruit, by which I learnt that with my stomach at 
least it agreed as well as if dressed, and, if anything, was 
still easier of digestion, however contrary this may appear 
to the common opinion of the people at home. 

Drink they have none except water and cocoanut juice, 
nor do they seem to have any method of intoxication among 
them. Some there were who drank pretty freely of our 
liquors, and in a few instances became very drunk, but 
seemed far from pleased with their intoxication, the indi- 
viduals afterwards shunning a repetition of it, instead of 
greedily desiring it, as most Indians are said to do. 

Their tables, or at least their apparatus for eating, are 
set out with great neatness, though the small quantity of 
their furniture will not admit of much elegance. I will 
describe the manner in which that of their principal people 
is served. They commonly eat alone, unless some stranger 
makes a second in their mess. The man usually sits 
under the shade of the nearest tree, or on the shady side 
of the house. A large quantity of leaves, either of bread- 
fruit or banana, are neatly spread before him, and serve 
instead of a table-cloth. A basket containing his provisions 
is then set by him, and two cocoanut-shells, one full of 
fresh, the other of salt, water. He begins by washing his 
hands and mouth thoroughly with the fresh water, a process 
which he repeats almost continually throughout the whole 
meal. Suppose that his provisions consist (as they often did) 
of two or three bread-fruits, one or two small fish about as big 
as an English perch, fourteen or fifteen ripe bananas or half 
as many apples. He takes half a bread-fruit, peels off the 
rind, and picks out the core with his nails ; he then crams 
his mouth as full with it as it can possibly hold, and while 
he chews that, unwraps the fish from the leaves in which 
they have remained tied up since they were dressed, and 
breaks one of them into the salt water. The rest, as well 
as the remains of the bread-fruit, lie before him upon the 
leaves. He generally gives a fish, or part of one, to some 
one of his dependents, many of whom sit round him, and 
then takes up a very small piece of that which he has 


broken into the salt water in the ends of all the fingers in 
one hand, and sucks it into his mouth to get as much salt 
water as possible, every now and then taking a small sup 
of it, either out of the palm of his hand or out of the 

In the meanwhile one of the attendants has prepared 
a young cocoanut by peeling off the outer rind with his 
teeth, an operation which at first appears very surprising 
to Europeans, but depends so much upon a knack, that 
before we left the island, many of us were ourselves able 
to do it, even myself, who can scarce crack a nut. When 
he chooses to drink, the master takes this from him, and, 
boring a hole through the shell with his finger, or breaking 
the nut with a stone, drinks or sucks out the water. When 
he has eaten his bread-fruit and fish, he begins with his 
plantains, one of which makes no more than a mouthful, 
if they are as big as black puddings. If he has apples a 
shell is necessary to peel them ; one is picked off the ground, 
where there are always plenty, and tossed to him ; with 
this he scrapes or cuts off the skin, rather awkwardly, as he 
wastes almost half the apple in doing it. If he has any 
tough kind of meat instead of fish, he must have a knife, 
for which purpose a piece of bamboo is tossed to him, of 
which he in a moment makes one, by splitting it transversely 
with his nail. With this he can cut tough meat or tendons 
at least as readily as we can with a common knife. All 
this time one of his people has been employed in beating 
bread-fruit with a stone pestle and a block of wood ; by 
much beating and sprinkling with water, it is reduced to 
the consistence of soft paste ; he then takes a vessel like a 
butcher's tray, and in it lays his paste, mixing it with 
either bananas, sour paste, or making it up alone, according 
to the taste of his master ; to this he adds water, pouring it 
on by degrees, and squeezing it often through his hand till 
it comes to the consistence of a thick custard. A large 
cocoanut-shell full of this he then sets before his master, 
who sups it down as we should a custard, if we had not a 
spoon to eat it with. His dinner is then finished by 



washing his hands and mouth, cleaning the cocoanut- shells 
and putting anything that may be left into the basket 

It may be thought that I have given rather too large 
a quantity of provision to my eater, when I say that he has 
eaten three bread-fruits, each bigger than two fists, two or 
three fish, fourteen or fifteen plantains or bananas, each, if 
they are large, six or nine inches long and four or five 
round, and concluded his dinner with about a quart of a food 
as substantial as the thickest unbaked custard. But this I 
do affirm, that it is but few of the many I was acquainted 
with that eat less, while many eat a good deal more. How- 
ever, I shall not insist that any man who may read this 
should believe it as an article of faith ; I shall be content if 
politeness makes him think, as Joe Miller's friend said : 
" Well, sir, as you say so, I believe it, but by God, had I 
seen it myself, I should have doubted it exceedingly." 

I have said that they seldom eat together ; the better 
sort hardly ever do so. Even two brothers or two sisters 
have each their respective baskets, one of which contains 
victuals, the other cocoanut-shells, etc., for the furniture of 
their separate tables. These were brought every day to our 
tents to those of our friends who, having come from a 
distance, chose to spend the whole day, or sometimes two or 
three days in our company. These two relations would go 
out, and sitting down upon the ground within a few yards 
of each other, turn their faces different ways, and make 
their meals without saying a word to each other. 

The women carefully abstain from eating with the men, 
or even any of the victuals that have been prepared for 
them ; all their food is prepared separately by boys, and 
kept in a shed by itself, where it is looked after by the same 
boys who attend them at their meals. Notwithstanding 
this, when we visited them at their houses, the women with 
whom we had any particular acquaintance or friendship 
would constantly ask us to partake of their meals, which we 
often did, eating out of the same basket and drinking out 
of the same cup. The old women, however, would by no 


means allow the same liberty, but would esteem their 
victuals polluted if we touched them ; in some instances I 
have seen them throw them away when we had inadvert- 
ently defiled them by handling the vessels which contained 

What can be the motive for so unsocial a custom I 
cannot in any shape guess, especially as they are a people 
in every other instance fond of society, and very much so of 
their women. I have often asked them the reason, but they 
have as often evaded the question, or answered merely that 
they did it because it was right, and expressed much disgust 
when I told them that in England men and women ate to- 
gether, and the same victuals. They, however, constantly 
affirm that it does not proceed from any superstitious 
motive : Eatua, they say, has nothing to do with it. What- 
ever the motive may be, it certainly affects their outward 
manners more than their principles ; in the tents, for 
example, we never saw an instance of the women partaking 
of our victuals at our table, but we have several times seen 
five or six of them go together into the servants' apartment 
and there eat very heartily of whatever they could find. 
Nor were they at all disturbed if we came in while they 
were doing so, though we had before used all the entreaties 
we were masters of to invite them to partake with us. 
When a woman was alone with us, she would often eat 
even in our company, but always extorted a strong promise 
that we should not let her country-people know what she 
had done. 

After their meals, and in the heat of the day, they often 
sleep ; middle-aged people especially, the better sort of 
whom seem to spend most of their time in eating or sleeping. 
The young boys and girls are uncommonly lively and active, 
and the old people generally more so than the middle-aged, 
which perhaps is owing to their excessively dissolute 

Diversions they have but few : shooting with the bow is 
the most usual I have seen at Otahite. It is confined 
almost entirely to the chiefs ; they shoot for distance only, 

1769 MUSIC 143 

with arrows unfledged, kneeling upon one knee, and dropping 
the bow from their hands the instant the arrow parts from 
it. I measured a shot made by Tubourai Tamaide ; it was 
274 yards, yet he complained that as the bow and arrows 
were bad he could not shoot as far as he ought to have 
done. At Ulhietea bows were less common, but the people 
amused themselves by throwing a kind of javelin eight or 
nine feet long at a mark, which they did with a good deal 
of dexterity, often striking the trunk of a plantain tree, 
their mark, in the very centre. I could never observe that 
either these or the Otahite people staked anything ; they 
seemed to contend merely for the honour of victory. 

Music is very little known to them, and this is the more 
wonderful as they seem very fond of it. They have only 
two instruments, the flute and the drum. The former is 
made of a hollow bamboo, about a foot long, in which are 
three holes : into one of these they blow with one nostril, 
stopping the other nostril with the thumb of the left hand ; 
the other two they stop and unstop with the forefinger of the 
left, and middle finger of the right hand. By this means 
they produce four notes, and no more, of which they have 
made one tune that serves them for all occasions. To it 
they sing a number of songs, pehay as they call them, 
generally consisting of two lines, affecting a coarse metre, 
and generally in rhyme. Maybe these lines would appear 
more musical if we well understood the accent of their 
language, but they are as downright prose as can be written. 
I give two or three specimens of songs made upon our 

Te de pahai de parow-a 

Ha maru no mina. 

E pahah tayo malama tai ya 
No tabane tonatou whannomi ya. 

E turai eattu terara patee whennua toai 
Ino o maio pretane to whennuaia no tute. 

At any time of the day when they are lazy they amuse 
themselves by singing the couplets, but especially after dark ; 


their candles made of the kernel of a nut abounding much 
in oil are then lighted. Many of these are stuck upon a 
skewer of wood, one below the other, and give a very 
tolerable light, which they often keep burning an hour after 
dark, and if they have any strangers in the house it is 
sometimes kept up all night. 

Their drums they manage rather better : they are made 
of a hollow block of wood, covered with shark's skin ; with 
these they make out five or six tunes, and accompany 
the flute not disagreeably. They know also how to tune 
two drums of different notes into concord, which they do 
nicely enough. They also tune their flutes ; if two persons 
play upon flutes which are not in unison, the shorter is 
lengthened by adding a small roll of leaf tied round the end 
of it, and moved up and down till their ears (which are 
certainly very nice) are satisfied. The drums are used 
chiefly in their heivas, which are at Otahite no more than a 
set of musicians, two drums for instance, two flutes and two 
singers, who go about from house to house and play. They 
are always received and rewarded by the master of the 
family, who gives them a piece of cloth or whatever else he 
can spare; and during their stay of maybe three or four 
hours, receives all his neighbours, who crowd his house full. 
This diversion the people are extravagantly fond of, most 
likely because, like concerts, assemblies, etc., in Europe, they 
serve to bring the sexes easily together at a time when the 
very thought of meeting has opened the heart and made 
way for pleasing ideas. The grand dramatic heiva which we 
saw at Ulhietea is, I believe, occasionally performed in all 
the islands, but that I have so fully described in the journal 
(3rd, *7th, and 8th August) that I need say no more 
about it. 

Besides this they dance, especially the young girls, when- 
ever they can collect eight or ten together, and setting their 
mouths askew in a most extraordinary manner, in the 
practice of which they are brought up from their earliest 
childhood. In doing this they keep time to a surprising 
nicety ; I might almost say as truly as any dancers I have 


seen in Europe, though their time is certainly much more 
simple. This exercise is, however, left off as they arrive at 
years of maturity. 

The great facility with which these people have always pro- 
cured the necessaries of life may very reasonably be thought 
to have originally sunk them into a kind of indolence, which 
has, as it were, benumbed their inventions, and prevented 
their producing such a variety of arts as might reasonably 
be expected from the approaches they have made in their 
manners to the politeness of the Europeans. To this may 
also be added a fault which is too frequent even among the 
most civilised nations, I mean an invincible attachment to 
the customs which they have learnt from their forefathers. 
These people are in so far excusable, as they derive their 
origin, not from creation, but from an inferior divinity, who 
was herself, with others of equal rank, descended from the 
god, causer of earthquakes. They therefore look upon it as 
a kind of sacrilege to attempt to mend customs which they 
suppose had their origin either among their deities or their 
ancestors, whom they hold as little inferior to the divinities 

They show their greatest ingenuity in marking and dyeing 
cloth ; in the description of these operations, especially the 
latter, I shall be rather diffuse, as I am not without hopes 
that my countrymen may receive some advantage, either 
from the articles themselves, or at least by hints derived 
from them. 

The material of which it is made is the internal bark or 
liber of three sorts of trees, the Chinese paper mulberry 
(Morus papyri/era), the bread-fruit tree (Sitodium utile 1 ), and 
a tree much resembling the wild fig-tree of the West Indies 
(Ficus prolixa}. Of the first, which they name aouta, they 
make the finest and whitest cloth, which is worn chiefly by 
the principal people ; it is likewise the most suitable for 
dyeing, especially with red. Of the second, which they call 
ooroo, is made a cloth inferior to the former in whiteness and 
softness, worn chiefly by people of inferior degree. Of the 

1 Artocarpus incisa, Linn. f. 


third, which is by far the rarest, is made a coarse, harsh 
cloth of the colour of the deepest brown paper: it is the 
only one they have that at all resists water, and is much 
valued ; most of it is perfumed and used by the very great 
people as a morning dress. These three trees are cultivated 
with much care, especially the former, which covers the 
largest part of their cultivated land. Young plants 
of one or two years' growth only are used; their great 
merit is that they are thin, straight, tall, and without 
branches ; to prevent the growth of these last they pluck 
off with great care all the lower leaves and their germs, as 
often as there is any appearance of a tendency to produce 

Their method of manufacturing the bark is the same for 
all the sorts : one description of it will therefore be sufficient. 
The thin cloth they make thus : when the trees have grown 
to a sufficient size they are drawn up, and the roots and 
tops cut off and stripped of their leaves ; the best of the 
aouta are in this state about three or four feet long and as 
thick as a man's finger, but the ooroo are considerably 
larger. The bark of these rods is then slit up longitudinally, 
and in this manner drawn off the stick ; when all are 
stripped, the bark is carried to some brook or running water, 
into which it is laid to soak with stones upon it, and in this 
situation it remains some days. When sufficiently soaked 
the women servants go down to the river, and stripping 
themselves, sit down in the water and scrape the pieces of 
bark, holding them against a flat smooth board, with the 
shell called by the English shell merchants Tiger's tongue 
(Tellina gargadia), dipping it continually in the water until 
all the outer green bark is rubbed and washed away, and 
nothing remains but the very fine fibres of the inner bark. 
This work is generally finished in the afternoon : in the 
evening the pieces are spread out upon plantain leaves, and in 
doing this I suppose there is some difficulty, as the mistress 
of the family generally presides over the operation. All 
that I could observe was that they laid them in two or 
three layers, and seemed very careful to make them every- 


where of equal thickness, so that if any part of a piece 
of bark had been scraped too thin, another thin piece 
was laid over it, in order to render it of the same thick- 
ness as the rest. When laid out in this manner, a piece 
of cloth is eleven or twelve yards long, and not more 
than a foot broad, for as the longitudinal fibres are all 
laid lengthwise, they do not expect it to stretch in that 
direction, though they well know how considerably it will 
in the other. 

In this state they suffer it to remain till morning, by 
which time a large proportion of the water with which it was 
thoroughly soaked has either drained off or evaporated, and 
the fibres begin to adhere together, so that the whole may 
be lifted from the ground without dropping in pieces. It 
is then taken away by the women servants, who beat it in 
the following manner. They lay it upon a long piece of 
wood, one side of which is very even and flat, this side being 
put under the cloth : as many women then as they can 
muster, or as can work at the board together, begin to beat it. 
Each is furnished with a baton made of the hard wood, etoa 
(Casuarina equisetifolia) : it is about a foot long and square 
with a handle ; on each of the four faces of the square are 
many small furrows, whose width differs on each face, and 
which cover the whole face. 1 They begin with the coarsest 
side, keeping time with their strokes in the same manner as 
smiths, and continue until the cloth, which extends rapidly 
under these strokes, shows by the too great thinness of the 
groves which are made in it that a finer side of the beater 
is requisite. In this manner they proceed to the finest side, 
with which they finish ; unless the cloth is to be of that 
very fine sort hoboo, which is almost as thin as muslin. In 
making this last they double the piece several times, and 
beat it out again and afterwards bleach it in the sun and 
air, which in these climates produce whiteness in a very 

1 The instrument is apparently something like a razor strop, of which the 
cross section is square, having longitudinal furrows, a varying number on 
each face. By the "coarsest side" is to be understood the face with the 
fewest furrows, which are larger and more deeply indented. 


short time. But I believe that the finest of their Jioboo 
does not attain either its whiteness or softness until it has 
been worn some time, then washed and beaten over again 
with the very finest beaters. 

Of this thin cloth they have almost as many different 
sorts as we have of linen, distinguishing it according to its 
fineness and the material of which it is made. Each piece 
is from nine to fifteen yards in length, and about two and a 
half broad. It serves them for clothes in the day and 
bedding at night. When, by use, it is sufficiently worn and 
becomes dirty, it is carried to the river and washed, chiefly 
by letting it soak in a gentle stream, fastened to the bottom 
by a stone, or, if it is very dirty, by wringing it and squeez- 
ing it gently. Several of the pieces of cloth so washed are 
then laid on each other, and being beaten with the coarsest 
side of the beater, adhere together, and become a cloth as 
thick as coarse broad-cloth, than which nothing can be more 
soft or delicious to the touch. This softness, however, is not 
produced immediately after the beating : it is at first stiff 
as if newly starched, and some parts not adhering together 
as well as others it looks ragged, and also varies in thick- 
ness according to any faults in the cloth from which it was 

To remedy this is the business of the mistress and the 
principal women of the family, who seem to amuse them- 
selves with this, and with dyeing it, as our English women 
do with making caps, ruffles, etc. In this way they spend 
the greater part of their time. Each woman is furnished 
with a knife made of a piece of bamboo cane, to which 
they give an edge by splitting it diagonally with their nails. 
This is sufficient to cut any kind of cloth or soft substance 
with great ease. A certain quantity of a paste made of the 
root of a plant which serves them also for food, and is called 
by them Pea (Chaitcea tacca 1 ), is also required. With the 
knife they cut off any ragged edges or ends which may not 
have been sufficiently fixed down by the beating, and with 
the paste they fasten down others which are less ragged, and 

1 Tacca pinnatifida, Forst. 

1769 DYES 149 

also put patches on any part which may be thinner than the 
rest, generally finishing their work, if intended to be of the 
best kind, by pasting a complete covering of the finest thin 
cloth or lioboo over the whole. They sometimes make a thick 
cloth also of only half-worn cloth, which, having been worn 
by cleanly people, is not soiled enough to require washing : 
of this it is sufficient to paste the edges together. The 
thick cloth made in either of these ways is used either for 
the garment called maro, which is a long piece passed 
between the legs and round the waist, and which serves 
instead of breeches, or as the tebuta, a garment used equally 
by both sexes instead of a coat or gown, which exactly 
resembles that worn by the inhabitants of Peru and Chili, 
and is called by the Spaniards poncho. 

The cloth itself, both thick and thin, resembles the 
finest cottons, in softness especially, in which property it 
even exceeds them ; its delicacy (for it tears by the smallest 
accident) makes it impossible that it can ever be used in 
Europe, indeed it is properly adapted to a hot climate. I 
used it to sleep in very often in the islands, and always 
found it far cooler than any English cloth. 

Having thus described their manner of making the 
cloth, I shall proceed to their method of dyeing. They use 
principally two colours, red and yellow. The first of these 
is most beautiful, I might venture to say a more delicate 
colour than any we have in Europe, approaching, however, 
most nearly to scarlet. The second is a good bright colour, 
but of no particular excellence. They also on some occasions 
dye the cloth brown and black, but so seldom that I had no 
opportunity during my stay of seeing the method, or of 
learning the materials which they make use of. I shall 
therefore say no more of these colours than that they were 
so indifferent in their qualities that they did not much raise 
my curiosity to inquire concerning them. 

To begin then with the red, in favour of which I shall 
premise that I believe no voyager has passed through these 
seas but that he has said something in praise of this colour, 
the brightness and elegance of which is so great that it 


cannot avoid being taken notice of by the most superficial 
observer. This colour is made by the admixture of the 
juices of two vegetables, neither of which in their separate 
state have the least tendency to the colour of red, nor, so 
far at least as I have been able to observe, are there any 
circumstances relating to them from whence any one would 
be led to conclude that the red colour was at all latent in 
them. The plants are Ficus tinctoria, called by them matte 
(the same name as the colour), and Cordia Sebestena, called 
etou : of these, the fruits of the first, and the leaves of the 
second, are used in the following manner. 

The fruit, which is about as large as a rounceval pea, or 
very small gooseberry, produces, by breaking off the stalk 
close to it, one drop of a milky liquor resembling the juice 
of a fig-tree in Europe. Indeed, the tree itself is a kind 
of wild fig. This liquor the women collect, breaking off the 
foot-stalk, and shaking the drop which hangs to the little 
fig into a small quantity of cocoanut water. To sufficiently 
prepare a gill of cocoanut water will require three or four 
quarts of the little figs, though I never could observe that 
they had any rule in deciding the proportion, except by 
observing the cocoanut water, which should be of the colour 
of whey, when a sufficient quantity of the juice of the little 
figs was mixed with it. When this liquor is ready, the 
leaves of the etou are brought and well wetted in it ; they 
are then laid upon a plantain leaf, and the women begin, at 
first gently, to turn and shake them about ; afterwards, as 
they grow more and more flaccid by this operation, to squeeze 
them a little, increasing the pressure gradually. All this is 
done merely to prevent the leaves from breaking. As they 
become more flaccid and spongy, they supply them with 
more of the juice, and in about five minutes the colour 
begins to appear on the veins of the etou leaves, and in ten, 
or a little more, all is finished and ready for straining, when 
they press and squeeze the leaves as hard as they possibly 
can. For straining they have a large quantity of the fibres 
of a kind of Cyperus grass (Cyperus stupeus) called by them 
mooo, which the boys prepare very nimbly by drawing the 

1769 DYEING CLOTH 151 

stalks of it through their teeth, or between two little sticks 
until all the green bark and the bran-like substance which 
lies between them is gone. In a covering of these fibres, 
then, they envelop the leaves, and squeezing or wringing 
them strongly, express the dye, which turns out very little 
more in quantity than the liquor employed ; this operation 
they repeat several times, as often soaking the leaves in the 
dye and squeezing them dry again, until they have suffi- 
ciently extracted all their virtue. They throw away the 
remaining leaves, keeping however the mooo, which serves 
them instead of a brush to lay the colour on the cloth. 
The receptacle used for the liquid dye is always a plantain 
leaf, whether from any property it may have suitable to 
the colour, or the great ease with which it is always 
obtained, and the facility of dividing it, and making of it 
many small cups, in which the dye may be distributed to 
every one in the company, I do not know. In laying the 
dye upon the cloth, they take it up in the fibres of the 
mooo, and rubbing it gently over the cloth, spread the out- 
side of it with a thin coat of dye. This applies to the 
thick cloth : of the thin they very seldom dye more than 
the edges ; some indeed I have seen dyed through, as if it 
had been soaked in the dye, but it had not nearly so elegant 
a colour as that on which a thin coat only was laid on the 

Though the etou leaf is the most generally used, and I 
believe produces the finest colour, yet there are several 
more, which by being mixed with the juice of the little figs 
produce a red colour. Such are Tournefortia sericea (which 
they call taheino), Convolvulus brasiliensis, Solanum latifolium 
(ebooa). By the use of these different plants or of different 
proportions of the materials many varieties of the colour 
are observable among their cloths, some of which are very 
conspicuously superior to others. 

When the women have been employed in dyeing cloth, 
they industriously preserve the colour upon their fingers 
and nails, upon which it shows with its greatest beauty ; 
they look upon this as no small ornament, and I have been 


sometimes inclined to believe that they even borrow the 
dye of each other, merely for the purpose of colouring their 
fingers. Whether it is esteemed as a beauty, or a mark of 
their housewifery in being able to dye, or of their riches in 
having cloth to dye, I know not. 

Of what use this preparation may be to my country- 
men, either in itself, or in any tints which may be drawn 
from an admixture of vegetable substances so totally different 
from anything of the kind that is practised in Europe, I am 
not enough versed in chemistry to be able to guess. I 
must, however, hope that it will be of some value. The 
latent qualities of vegetables have already furnished our 
most valuable dyes. No one from an inspection of the 
plants could guess that any colour was hidden in the herbs 
of indigo, woad, dyer's weed, or indeed most of the plants 
whose leaves are used in dyeing : and yet those latent qualities 
have, when discovered, produced colours without which our 
dyers could hardly maintain their trade. 

The painter whom I have with me tells me that the 
nearest imitation of the colour that he could make would 
be by mixing together vermilion and carmine, but even thus 
he could not equal the delicacy, though his would be a body 
colour, and the Indian's only a stain. In the way that the 
Indians use it, I cannot say much for its lasting; they 
commonly keep their cloth white up to the very time it is 
to be used, and then dye it, as if conscious that it would 
soon fade. I have, however, used cloth dyed with it myself 
for a fortnight or three weeks, in which time it has very 
little altered, and by that time the cloth itself was pretty 
well worn out. I have now some also in chests, which a 
month ago when I looked into them had very little changed 
their colour : the admixture of fixing drugs would, however, 
certainly not a little conduce to its keeping. 

Their yellow, though a good colour, has certainly no 
particular excellence to recommend it in which it is superior 
to our known yellows. It is made of the bark of a root of 
a shrub called nono (Morinda umbellata). This they scrape 
into water, and after it has soaked a sufficient time, strain 

1769 MATTING, ETC. 153 

the water, and dip the cloth into it. The wood of the root 
is no doubt furnished in some degree with the same property 
as the bark, but not having any vessels in which they can 
boil it, it is useless to the inhabitants. The genus of 
Morinda seems worthy of being examined as to its properties 
for dyeing. Browne, in his History of Jamaica, mentions 
three species whose roots, he says, are used to dye a brown 
colour; and Eumphius says of his Bancudus angustifolia^ 
which is very nearly allied to our nono, that it is used by 
the inhabitants of the East Indian Islands as a fixing drug 
for the colour of red, with which he says it particularly 

They also dye yellow with the fruit of a tree called 
tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum), but their method I never 
had the fortune to see. It seems, however, to be chiefly 
esteemed by them for the smell, more agreeable to an Indian 
than an European nose, which it gives to the cloth. 

Besides their cloth, the women make several kinds of 
matting, which serves them to sleep upon, the finest being 
also used for clothes. With this last they take great pains, 
especially with that sort which is made of the bark of the 
poorou (Hibiscus tiliaceus), of which I have seen matting 
almost as fine as coarse cloth. But the most beautiful sort, 
vanne, which is white and extremely glossy and shining, is 
made of the leaves of the wharra, a sort of Pandanus, of 
which we had not an opportunity of .seeing either flowers 
or fruit. The rest of their moeas, which are used to sit down 
or sleep upon, are made of a variety of sorts of rushes, grasses, 
etc. ; these they are extremely nimble in making, as indeed 
they are of everything which is plaited, including baskets of 
a thousand different patterns, some being very neat. As 
for occasional baskets or panniers made of a cocoanut leaf, 
or the little bonnets of the same material which they wear 
to shade their eyes from the sun, every one knows how to 
make them at once. As soon as the sun was pretty high, 
the women who had been with us since morning, generally 
sent out for cocoanut leaves, of which they made such 

1 Bancudus angustifolia, Rum ph. = Morinda angustifolia, Roxb. 


bonnets in a few minutes, and threw away as soon as the 
sun became again low in the afternoon. These, however, 
serve merely for a shade: coverings for their heads they 
have none except their hair, for these bonnets or shades only 
fit round their heads, not upon them. 

Besides these things, they are very neat in making fish- 
ing-nets in the same manner as we do, ropes of about an 
inch thick, and lines from the poorou, threads with which 
they sew together their canoes, and also belts from the fibres 
of the cocoanut, plaited either round or flat. All their 
twisting work they do upon their thighs in a manner very 
difficult to describe, and, indeed, unnecessary, as no European 
can want to learn how to perform an operation which his 
instruments will do for him so much faster than it can 
possibly be done by hand. But of all the strings that they 
make none are so excellent as the fishing-lines, etc., made of 
the bark of the erowa, a kind of frutescent nettle (Urtica 
argentea) which grows in the mountains, and is consequently 
rather scarce. Of this they make the lines which are 
employed to take the briskest and most active fish, bonitos, 
albecores, etc. As I never made experiments with it, I can 
only describe its strength by saying that it was infinitely 
stronger than the silk lines which I had on board made in 
the best fishing shops in London, though scarcely more than 
half as thick. 

In every expedient for taking fish they are vastly 
ingenious ; their seine nets for fish to mesh themselves in, 
etc., are exactly like ours. They strike fish with harpoons 
made of cane and pointed with hard wood more dexterously 
than we can do with ours that are headed with iron, for we 
who fasten lines to ours need only lodge them in the fish to 
secure it, while they, on the other hand, throwing theirs 
quite from them, must either mortally wo and the fish or 
lose him. Their hooks, indeed, as they are not made of iron, 
are necessarily very different from ours in construction. 
They are of two sorts ; the first, witte-witte, is used for towing. 
Fig. 1 represents this in profile, and Fig. 2 the view of the 
bottom part. The shank (a) is made of mother-of-pearl, 




the most glossy that can be got, the inner or naturally 
bright side being put undermost. In Fig. 2, & is a tuft of 
white dog's or hog's hair, which serves, maybe, to imitate 
the tail of a fish. These hooks require no bait : they are 
used with a fishing-rod of bamboo. The people having 
found by the flight of birds, which constantly attend shoals 

Fig. 2. 

of bonitos, where the fish are, paddle their canoes as swiftly 
as they can across them, and seldom fail to take some. 
This Indian invention seems far to exceed anything of the 
kind that I have seen among Europeans, and is certainly 
more successful than any artificial flying fish or other thing 
which is generally used for taking bonitos. So far, it 
deserves imitation at any time when taking bonitos is at all 

The other sort of hook which they have is made likewise 
of mother-of-pearl, or some hard shell, and as they cannot 
make them bearded as our own, they 
supply that fault by making the points 
turn much inwards, as in the annexed 
figure. They have them of all sizes, 
and catch with them all kinds of fish 
very successfully, I believe. The manner of making them 
is very simple ; every fisherman makes them for himself. 


The shell is first cut by the edge of another shell into square 
pieces. These are shaped with files of coral, with which 
they work in a manner surprising to any one who does not 
know how sharp corals are. A hole is then bored in the 
middle by a drill, which is simply any stone that may 
chance to have a sharp corner in it tied to the handle of a 
cane. This is turned in the hand like a chocolate mill until 
the hole is made ; the file then comes into the hole and 
completes the hook. This is made, in such a one as the 
figure shows, in less than a quarter of an hour. 

In their carpentry, joinery, and stone-cutting, etc., they 
are scarcely more indebted to the use of tools than in making 
these hooks. A stone axe in the shape of an adze, a chisel 
or gouge made of a human bone, a file or rasp of coral, the 
skin of sting-rays and coral sand to polish with, are a suffi- 
cient set of tools for building a house and furnishing it with 
boats, as well as for quarrying and squaring stones for the 
pavement of anything which may require it in the neighbour- 
hood. Their axes are made of a black stone, not very hard, 
but tolerably tough : they are of different sizes, some, 
intended for felling, weigh three or four pounds ; others, 
which are used only for carving, not as many ounces. 
Whatever quality is lacking in these tools, is made up by 
the industry of the people who use them. Felling a tree is 
their greatest labour ; a large one requires many hands to 
assist, and some days before it can be finished, but when 
once it is down they manage it with far greater dexterity 
than is credible to a European. If it is to be made into 
boards they put wedges into it, and drive them with such 
dexterity (as they have told me, for I never saw it) that 
they divide it into slabs of three or four inches in thickness, 
seldom meeting with an accident if the tree is good. These 
slabs they very soon dubb down with their axes to any given 
thinness, and in this work they certainly excel; indeed, 
their tools are better adapted for this than for any other 
labour. I have seen them dubb off the first rough coat of 
a plank at least as fast as one of our carpenters could have 
done it ; and in hollowing, where they are able to raise 


large slabs of the wood, they certainly work more quickly, 
owing to the weight of their tools. Those who are masters 
of this business will take off a surprisingly thin coat from a 
whole plank without missing a stroke. They can also work 
upon wood of any shape as well as upon a flat piece, for in 
making a canoe every piece, bulging or flat, is properly shaped 
at once, as they never bend a plank ; all the bulging pieces 
must be shaped by hand, and this is done entirely with 
axes. They have also small axes for carving ; but all this 
latter kind of work was so bad, and in so very mean a taste, 
that it scarcely deserved that name. Yet they are very 
fond of having carvings and figures stuck about their canoes, 
the great ones especially, which generally have a figure of a 
man at the head and another at the stern. Their marais 
also are ornamented with different kinds of figures, one 
device representing many men standing on each other's 
heads. They have also figures of animals, and planks of 
which the faces are carved in patterns of squares and circles, 
etc. All their work, however, in spite of its bad taste, 
acquires a certain neatness in finish, for they polish every- 
thing, even the side of a canoe or the post of a house, with 
coral-sand rubbed on in the outer husk of a cocoanut and 
ray's skin, which makes it very smooth and neat. 

Their boats, all at least that I have seen of them, may 
be divided into two general classes. The first, or ivahah, 
are the only sort used at Otahite ; they serve for fishing 
and for short trips to sea, but do not seem at all calculated 
for long voyages ; the others, or pahie, are used by the 
inhabitants of the Society Isles, viz. Ulhietea, Bola Bola, 
Huahine, etc., and are rather too clumsy for fishing, for which 
reason the inhabitants of those islands have also ivahahs. 
The pahie are much better adapted for long voyages. The 
figures below (p. 158) give a section of both kinds : Fig. 1 
is the ivahah and Fig. 2 the pahie. 

To begin, then, with the ivahah. These differ very much 
in length : I have measured them from 10 feet to 72 feet, but 
by no means proportional in breadth, for while that of 1 feet 
was about 1 foot in breadth, that of 72 feet was scarce 2 feet, 


nor is their height increased in much greater proportion. 
They may be subdivided into three sorts, the fighting ivahah, 
the common sailing or fishing ivahah, and the travelling 
ivahah. The fighting ivahah is by far the longest ; the head 
and stern of these are considerably raised above the body 
in a semicircular form, 17 or 18 feet in height when the 
centre is scarcely 3 feet. These boats never go to sea singly ; 
two are always fastened together side by side at the distance 
of about two feet by strong poles of wood extending across 
both, and upon them is built a stage in the fore-part about 
ten or twelve feet long, and a little broader than the two 
boats : this is supported by pillars about ix feet high, and 

Fig. i. 


upon it stand the people who fight with slings, spears, etc. 
Below are the rowers, who are much less engaged in the 
battle on account of their confined situation, but who receive 
the wounded from the stage, and furnish fresh men to ascend 
in their room. (This much from description, for I never 
saw any of their battles.) 

The sailing and fishing ivahahs vary in size from about 
40 feet in length to the smallest I have mentioned, but 
those which are under 25 feet in length seldom or never 
carry sail : their sterns only are raised, and those not 
above four or five feet : their prows are quite flat, and 
have a flat board projecting forwards about four feet beyond 

Those which I have called travelling ivahahs differ 
from these in nothing except that two are constantly 

1769 BOATS 159 

joined together in the same manner as the war-boats, and 
that they have a small neat house five or six feet broad by 
seven or eight long fastened upon the fore-part of them, in 
which the principal people, who use them very much, sit 
while they are carried from place to place. The sailing 
ivahahs have also this house upon them when two are joined 
together, which is, however, but seldom. Indeed, the differ- 
ence between these two consists almost entirely in the 
rigging, and I have divided them into two more because 
they are generally seen employed in very different occupa- 
tions than from any real difference in their build. 

All ivahahs agree in the sides built like walls and the 
bottoms flat. In this they differ from the pahie (Fig. 2), 
of which the sides bulge out and the bottom is sharp, 
answering, in some measure, instead of a keel. 

These pahies differ very much in size : I have seen 
them from 30 to 60 feet in length, but, like the ivahahs, 
they are very narrow in proportion to their length. One 
that I measured was 51 feet in length, but only 1-J- feet in 
breadth at the top (a) and 3 feet in the bilge (&, see Fig. 2). 
This is about the general proportion. Their round sides, how- 
ever, make them capable of carrying much greater burthens 
and being much safer sea-boats, in consequence of which they 
are used merely for fighting and making long voyages. For 
purposes of fishing and travelling along shore the natives of 
the islands where they are chiefly used have ivahahs. The 
fighting pahies, which are the longest, are fitted in the same 
manner as the fighting ivahahs, only as they carry far greater 
burthens, the stages are proportionately larger. Two sailing 
boats are most generally fastened together for this purpose ; 
those of a middling size are said to be best, and least liable 
to accident in stormy weather. In these, if we may credit 
the reports of the inhabitants, they make very long voyages, 
often remaining several months from home, visiting in that 
time many different islands, of which they reported to us 
the names of nearly a hundred ; they cannot, however, 
remain at sea above a fortnight or twenty days, although 
they live as sparingly as possible, for want of proper pro- 


visions and place to store them in, as well as water, of 
which they carry a tolerable stock in bamboos. 

All the boats are disproportionately narrow in respect 
to their length, which causes them to be very easily overset, 
so that not even the Indians dare venture in them till they 
are fitted with a contrivance to prevent this inconvenience, 
which is done, either by fastening two together side by 
side, as has been before described, in which case one supports 
the other and they become as steady a vehicle as can be 
imagined ; or, if one of them is going out alone, by fasten- 
ing a log of wood to two poles laid across the boat : this 
serves to balance it tolerably, though not so securely, but that 
I have seen the Indians overturn them very often. This is 
the same principle as that adopted in the flying proa of the 
Ladrone Islands described in Lord Anson's voyage, where it 
is called an outrigger ; indeed, the vessels themselves as 
much resemble the flying proa as to make appear at least 
possible that either the latter is a very artful improvement 
of these, or these a very awkward imitation of the proa. 

These boats are propelled with large paddles, which have 
a long handle and a flat blade resembling, more than any- 
thing I can recollect, a baker's peel ; of these every person 
in the boat generally has one, except those who sit under 
the houses ; and with these they push themselves on fairly 
fast through the water. The boats are so leaky, however, 
that one person at least is employed almost constantly in 
throwing out the water. The only thing in which they 
excel is landing in a surf, for by reason of their great length 
and high sterns they land dry when our boats could scarcely 
land at all, and in the same manner they put off from the 
shore, as I have often experienced. 

When sailing, they have either one or two masts fitted 
to a frame which is above the canoe : they are made 
of a single stick ; in one that I measured of 32 feet 
in length, the mast was 25 feet high, which seems to be 
about the common proportion. To this is fastened a sail 
about one-third longer, but narrow and of a triangular shape, 
pointed at the top, and the outside curved ; it is bordered 


all round with a frame of wood, and has no contrivance 
either for reefing or furling, so that in case of bad weather 
it must be entirely cut away ; but I fancy that in these 
moderate climates they are seldom brought to this necessity. 
The material of which it is made is universally matting. 
With these sails their canoes go at a very good rate, and 
lie very near the wind, probably on account of their sail 
being bordered with wood, which makes them stand better 
than any bow-lines could possibly do. On the top of this 
sail they carry an ornament which, in taste, resembles much 
our pennants ; it is made of feathers, and reaches down to 
the very water, so that when blown out by the wind it 
makes no inconsiderable show. They are fond of ornaments 
in all parts of their boats ; in the good ones they commonly 
have a figure at the stern, and in the pahies they have a 
figure at both ends, and the smaller ivahahs have usually 
a small carved pillar upon the stern. 

Considering that these people are so entirely destitute of 
iron, they build these canoes very well. Of the ivahahs the 
foundation is always the trunks of one or more trees 
hollowed out : the ends of these are sloped off, and sewed 
together with the fibres of the husk of the cocoanut ; the 
sides are then raised with planks sewed together in the same 

The pahies, as they are much better embarkations, so 
they are built in a more ingenious manner. Like the 
others they are laid upon a long keel, which, however, is not 
more than four or five inches deep. Upon this they raise 
two ranges of planks, each of which is about eighteen inches 
high, and about four or five feet in length : such a number 
of pieces must necessarily be framed and fitted together 
before they are sewed ; and this they do very dexterously, 
supporting the keel by ropes made fast to the top of the 
house under which they work, and each plank by a 
stanchion ; so that the canoe is completely put together 
before any one part is fastened to the next, and in this 
manner it is supported till the sewing is completed. This, 
however, soon rots in the salt water ; it must be renewed 



once a year at least ; in doing so the canoe is entirely taken 
to pieces and every plank examined. By this means they 
are always in good repair; the best of them are, however, 
very leaky, for as they use no caulking the water must run 
in at every hole made by the sewing. This is no great in- 
convenience to them, who live in a climate where the water 
is always warm, and who go barefoot. 

For the convenience of keeping these pahies dry, we saw 
in the islands where they are used a peculiar sort of house 
built for their reception and put to no other use. It was 
built of poles stuck upright in the ground and tied together 
at the top, so that they make a kind of Gothic arch : the 
sides of these are completely covered with thatch down to 
the ground, but the ends are left open. One of these I 
measured was fifty paces in length, ten in breadth, and 
twenty-four feet in height, and this was of an average size. 

The people excel much in predicting the weather, a 
circumstance of great use to them in their short voyages 
from island to island. They have various ways of doing this, 
but one only that I know of which I never heard of being 
practised by Europeans, and that is foretelling the quarter of 
the heavens from whence the wind will blow by observing 
the Milky Way, which is generally bent in an arch either 
one way or the other : this arch they conceive as already 
acted upon by the wind, which is the cause of its curving, 
and say that if the same curve continues a whole night the 
wind predicted by it seldom fails to come some time in the 
next day, and in this as well as their other predictions we 
found them indeed not infallible, but far more clever than 

In their longer voyages they steer in the day by the sun, 
and in the night by the stars : of these they know a very 
large number by name, and the cleverest among them will 
tell in what part of the heavens they are to be seen in any 
month when they are above their horizon : they know also 
the time of their annual appearance and disappearance to a 
great nicety, far greater than would be easily believed by an 
European astronomer. 


I was not able to get a complete idea of their method of 
dividing time. I shall, however, set down what little I know. 
In speaking of time either past or to come, they never use 
any term but moons, of which they count thirteen, and then 
begin again : this of itself sufficiently shows that they have 
some idea of the solar year, but how they manage to make 
their thirteen months agree with it I never could find out. 
That they do, however, I believe, because in mentioning the 
names of months they very frequently told us the fruits that 
would be in season in each of them, etc. They also have a 
name for the thirteen months collectively, but they never use 
it in speaking of time ; it is employed only in explaining the 
mysteries of their religion. In their metaphorical year they 
say that the year Tettowma ta tayo was the daughter of the 
chief divinity Taroataihetoomoo, and that she in time brought 
forth the months, who in their turn produced the days, of 
which they count twenty-nine in every month, including 
one in which the moon is invisible. Every one of these has 
its respective name, and is again subdivided into twelve 
parts, containing about two hours each, six for the day 
and six for the night, each of which has likewise its re- 
spective name. In the day-time they guess the divisions 
of these parts very well, but in the night, though they have 
the same number of divisions as in the day, seem very little 
able to tell at any time which hour it is, except the cleverest 
among them who know the stars. 

In counting they proceed from one to ten, having a 
different name for each number ; from thence they say one 
more, two more, etc., up to twenty, which after being called 
in the general count ten more, acquires a new name as we 
say a score : by these scores they count till they have got 
ten of them, which again acquires a new name, 200 ; these 
again are counted till they get ten of them, 2000 ; which 
is the largest denomination I have ever heard them make 
use of, and I suppose is as large as they can ever have 
occasion for, as they can count ten of these (i.e. up to 
20,000) without any new term. 

In measures of space they are very poor indeed : one 


fathom and ten fathoms are the only terms I have heard 
among them. By these they convey the size of anything, 
as a house, a boat, depth of the sea, etc., but when they 
speak of distances from one place to another they have no 
way of making themselves understood but by the number of 
days it takes them in their canoes to go the distance. 

Their language appeared to me to be very soft and tuneful; 
it abounds in vowels, and was easily pronounced by us, while 
ours was to them absolutely impracticable. I instance par- 
ticularly my own name, which I took much pains to teach 
them and they to learn ; after three days' fruitless trial I 
was forced to select from their many attempts To/pane, the 
only one I had been able to get from them that had the 
least similitude to it. Spanish or Italian words they pro- 
nounced with ease, provided they ended with a vowel, for 
few or none of theirs end with a consonant. 

I cannot say that I am sufficiently acquainted with it to 
pronounce whether it is copious or not; in one respect, 
however, it is beyond measure inferior to all European 
languages, and that is in its almost total want of inflection 
both of nouns and verbs, few or none of the former having 
more than one case or the latter one tense. Notwithstand- 
ing this want, however, we found it very easy to make 
ourselves understood in matters of common necessaries, how- 
ever paradoxical it may appear to an European. 

They have certain suffixes and make very frequent use 
of them. This puzzled us at first very much, though they 
are but few in number. An instance or two may be 
necessary to make myself understood, as they do not exist 
in any modern European language. One asks another 
" Harre nea ? " " Where are you going ? " The other answers 
" Ivahinera," " To my wives," on which the first questioning 
him still further "Ivahinera ? " " To your wives?" is answered 
" Ivahinereiaa," " Yes, I am going to my wives." Here the 
suffixes era and eiaa save several words to both parties. 

From the vocabularies given in Le Maire's voyage (see 
Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes, torn. i. p. 4 1 1 ) 
1 By C. de Brosse, 1756. 




it appears clearly that the languages given there as those of 
the Isles of Solomon and the Isle of Cocos 1 are radically the 
identical language we met with, most words differing in 
little, but the greater number of consonants. The languages 
of New Guinea and Moyse Isle 2 have also many words radi- 
cally the same, particularly their numbers, although they are 
so obscured by a multitude of consonants that it is scarcely 
possible that they should be detected but by those who are in 
some measure acquainted with one of the languages. For 
instance the New Guinea kisson (fish) is found to be the 
same as the Otahite eia by the medium of ica of the Isle of 
Solomon; talingan (ears) is in Otahite terrea; limang (a 
hand) becomes lima, or rima ; paring (cheeks) is paperea ; 
mattanga (eyes) mata ; " they called us," says the author, 
" tata" which in Otahite signifies men in general. 

That the people who inhabit this numerous range of 
islands should have originally come from one and the same 
place, and brought with them the same numbers and 
language, which latter especially have remained not materi- 
ally altered to this day, is in my opinion not at all beyond 
belief ; but that the numbers of Madagascar should be the 
same as all these is almost if not quite incredible. I shall 
give them from a book called a Collection of Voyages ly the 
Dutch East Company, Lond. 1*703, p. 116, where, supposing 
the author who speaks of ten numbers and gives only nine 
to have lost the fifth, their similarity is beyond dispute. 



Cocos Isle. 

New Guinea. 

1. Issa 




2. Rove 




3. Tello 




4. Effat 




6. Enning 




7. Fruto 




8. Wedo 




9. Sidai 




10. Scula 




1 Probably one of the Samoa group, not the Keeling Islands. 

2 An island off the N.E. coast of New Guinea, so named by Le Maire. 


It must be remembered, however, that the author of this 
voyage, during the course of it, touched at Java and several 
other East Indian Isles, as well as at Madagascar ; so that if 
by any disarrangement of his papers he has given the numerals 
of some of those islands for those of Madagascar, our wonder 
will be much diminished ; for after having traced them from 
Otahite to New Guinea it would not seem very wonderful 
to carry them a little farther to the East Indian Isles, which 
from their situation seem not unlikely to be the place from 
whence our islanders originally came. But I shall waive 
saying any more on this subject till I have had an opportunity 
of myself seeing the customs, etc. of the\ Javans, which this 
voyage will in all probability give me an opportunity of doing. 

The language of all the islands I was upon was the same, 
so far as I could understand it ; the people of Ulhietea only 
changed the t of the Otahiteans to k, calling tata, which 
signifies a man or woman, Itaka, a peculiarity which made 
the language much less soft. The people of Oheteroa, so far 
as I could understand their words, which were only shouted 
out to us, seemed to do the same thing, and add many more 
consonants, which made their language much less musical 
I shall give a few of the words, from whence an idea may 
be got of their language. 


the head 


the belly 


the nose 


the arm 


the hair 


the hand 


the month 


the fingers 


the teeth 


the nails 


the tongue 


the buttocks 


the beard 


the thighs 


the throat 




the shoulders 




the back 


a tree 


the legs 


a branch 


the feet 


a flower 


a hog 




a fowl 


the stem 


a dog 


the root 




herbaceous plants 




a pigeon 




a parroquet 




another species 


wild plantains 


a bird 


the breast 


a duck 


the nipples 


a fish-hook 





a rope 




a shark 




a fishing-rod 




a net 



M ah anna 

the sun 




the moon 




a star 




a comet 




the sky 
a cloud 



Main mahi 

a dolphin 







Poe Matawewwe 





a garment 


to go far 


a fruit like an apple 


to go 


another like a 


to stay 



to remain or 



a house 


to be tired 


a high island 


to eat 


a low island 


to drink 




to understand 




to steal 




to be angry 




to beat 

Among people whose diet is so simple and plain dis- 
tempers cannot be expected to be as frequent as among us 
Europeans ; we observed but few, and those chiefly cutane- 
ous, as erysipelas and scaly eruptions on the skin. This 
last was almost, if not quite, advanced to leprosy ; the 
people who were in that state were secluded from society, 
living by themselves each in a small house built in some 
unfrequented place, where they were daily supplied with 
provisions. Whether these had any hope of relief, or were 
doomed in this manner to languish out a life of solitude, we 
did not learn. Some, but very few, had ulcers on different 
parts of their bodies, most of which looked very virulent ; 
the people who were afflicted with them did not, however, 
seem much to regard them, leaving them entirely without 
any application, even to keep off the flies. Acute distempers 
no doubt they have, but while we stayed upon the island 
they were very uncommon ; possibly in the rainy season 
they are more frequent. Among the numerous acquaintances 
I had upon the island only one was taken ill during our 
stay. I visited her and found her, as is their custom, left 
by everybody but her three children, who sat by her ; her 


complaint was colic, which did not appear to me to be at all 
violent. I asked her what medicine she took, she told me 
none, and that she depended entirely upon the priest, who 
had been trying to free her from her distemper by his 
prayers and ceremonies, which, she said, he would repeat till 
she was well, showing me at the same time branches of 
the Thespesia populnea, which he had left with her. After 
this I left her, and whether through the priest's ceremonies 
or her own constitution, she came down to our tents com- 
pletely recovered in three days' time. 

I never happened to be present when the priests per- 
formed their ceremonies for the cure x)f sick people ; but 
one of our gentlemen who was informed me that they con- 
sisted of nothing but the repetition of certain fixed sentences, 
during which time the priest plaited leaves of the cocoanut 
tree into different figures, neatly enough ; some of which he 
fastened to the fingers and toes of the sick man, who was at 
the time uncovered, out of respect to the prayers. The 
whole ceremony almost exactly resembled their method 
of praying at the marais, which I shall by and by describe. 
They appear, however, to have some knowledge of medicine, 
besides these operations of priestcraft. That they have 
skilful surgeons among them we easily gathered from the 
dreadful scars of wounds which we frequently saw cured, 
some of which were far greater than any I have seen any- 
where else ; and these were made by stones which these 
people throw with slings with great dexterity and force. 
One man I particularly recollect whose face was almost 
entirely destroyed ; yet this dreadful wound had healed 
cleanly without any ulcer remaining. Tupia, who has had 
several wounds, had one made by a spear headed with the 
bone of a sting-ray's tail which had pierced right through 
his body, entering at his back and coming out just under 
his breast ; yet this has been so well cured that the remain- 
ing scar is as smooth and as small as any I have seen from 
the cures by our best European surgeons. 

Vulnerary herbs they have many, nor do they seem at 
all nice in the choice of them. They have plenty of such 

1769 MEDICINE 169 

herbaceous plants as yield mild juices devoid of all acridity, 
similar to the English chickweed, groundsel, etc. ; with these 
they make fomentations, which they frequently apply to the 
wound, taking care to cleanse it as often as possible ; the 
patient all the time observing great abstinence. By this 
method, if they have told me truly, their wounds are cured 
in a very short time. As for their medicines we learned but 
little concerning them ; they told us, and indeed freely, that 
such and such plants were good for such and such distempers, 
but it required a much better knowledge of the language 
than we were able to obtain during our short stay to under- 
stand the method of application. 

Their manner of disposing of their dead as well as the 
ceremonies relating to their mourning are so remarkable 
that they deserve a very particular description. As soon as 
any one is dead the house is immediately filled with his 
relations, who bewail their loss with loud lamentations, 
especially those who are the farthest removed in blood from, 
or who profess the least grief for, the deceased. The 
nearer relations and those who are really affected spend 
their time in more silent sorrow, while the rest join in 
a chorus of grief at certain intervals, between which they 
laugh, talk, and gossip as if totally unconcerned. This lasts 
till daylight of the next day, when the body, being shrouded 
in cloth, is laid upon a kind of bier on which it can con- 
veniently be carried on men's shoulders. The priest's office 
now begins ; he prays over the body, repeating his sentences, 
and orders it to be carried down to the sea-side. Here his 
prayers are renewed ; the corpse is brought down near the 
water's edge, and he sprinkles water towards but not upon 
it ; it is then removed forty or fifty yards from the sea, and 
soon after brought back. This ceremony is repeated several 
times. In the meantime a house has been built and a small 
space of ground round it railed in ; in the centre of this house 
are posts, upon which the bier, as soon as the ceremonies are 
finished, is set. On these the corpse is to remain and 
putrefy in state, to the no small disgust of every one whose 
business requires him to pass near it. 


These houses of corruption, tu papow, are of a size pro- 
portionate to the rank of the person contained in them. If 
he is poor it merely covers the bier, and generally has no 
railing round it. The largest I ever saw was eleven yards 
in length. These houses are ornamented according to the 
ability and inclination of the surviving relations, who never 
fail to lay a profusion of good cloth about the body, and 
often almost cover the outside of the house ; the two ends, 
which are open, are also hung with garlands of the fruits 
of the palm-nut (Pandanm), cocoanut leaves knotted by 
the priests, mystic roots, and a plant called by them ethee 
nota marai (Terminalia), which is particularly consecrated 
to funerals. Near the house is also laid fish, fruits, and 
cocoanut s, or common water, or such provisions as can 
well be spared ; not that they suppose the dead in any- 
way capable of eating this provision, but they think that 
if any of their gods should descend upon that place, and 
being hungry find that these preparations had been neglected, 
he would infallibly satisfy his appetite with the flesh of the 

No sooner is the corpse fixed up within the house, or 
ewhatta, as they call it, than the ceremony of mourning 
begins again. The women (for the men seem to think 
lamentations beneath their dignity) assemble, led on by the 
nearest relative, who, walking up to the door of the house, 
swimming almost in tears, strikes a shark's tooth several 
times into the crown of her head ; the blood which results 
from these wounds is carefully caught in their linen, and 
thrown under the bier. Her example is imitated by the 
rest of the women; and this ceremony is repeated at intervals 
of two or three days, as long as the women are willing or 
able to keep it up ; the nearest relation thinking it her 
duty to continue it longer than any one else. Besides this 
blood which they believe to be an acceptable present to the 
deceased, whose soul they believe to exist, and hover about 
the place where the body lays, observing the action of the 
survivors they throw in cloths wet with tears, of which all 
that are shed are carefully preserved for that purpose ; and 


the younger people cut off all or a part of their hair, and 
throw that also under the bier. 

When the ceremonies have been performed for two or 
three days, the men, who till now seemed to be entirely 
insensible of their loss, begin their part. They have a 
peculiar dress for this occasion, and patrol the woods early 
in the morning and late at night, preceded by two or three 
boys, who have nothing upon them but a small piece of 
cloth round their waists, and who are smutted all over 
with charcoal. These sable emissaries run about their 
principal in all directions, as if in pursuit of people on 
whom he may vent the rage inspired by his sorrow, which he 
does most unmercifully if he catches any one, cutting them 
with his stick, the edge of which is set with shark's teeth. 
But this rarely or never happens, for no sooner does this figure 
appear than every one who sees either him or his emissaries, 
inspired with a sort of religious awe, flies with the utmost 
speed, hiding wherever he thinks himself safest, but by all 
means quitting his house if it lies even near the path of 
this dreadful apparition. 

These ceremonies continue for five moons, decreasing, 
however, in frequency very much towards the latter part 
of that time. The body is then taken down from the 
ewha&a, the bones washed and scraped very clean, and 
buried according to the rank of the person, either within or 
without some one of their marais or places of public 
worship ; and if it is one of their earees, or chiefs, his skull 
is preserved, and, wrapped up in fine cloth, is placed in a 
kind of case made for the purpose, which stands in the 
marai. The mourning then ceases, unless some of the 
women, who find themselves more than commonly afflicted 
by their loss, repeat the ceremony of poopooing, or bleeding 
themselves in the head, which they do at any time or in any 
place they happen to be when the whim takes them. 

The ceremonies, however, are far from ceasing at this 
stage ; frequent prayers must be said by the priest, and 
frequent offerings made for the benefit of the deceased, or 
more properly for that of the priests, who are well paid 


for their prayers by the surviving relations. During the 
ceremony emblematical devices are made use of; a young 
plantain tree signifies the deceased, and a bundle of feathers 
the deity invoked. Opposite to this the priest places 
himself, often attended by relations of the deceased, and 
always furnished with a small offering of some kind of 
eatables intended for the god. He begins by addressing 
the god by a set form of sentences, and during the time he 
repeats them employs himself in weaving cocoanut leaves 
into different forms, all which he disposes upon the grave 
where the bones have been deposited ; the deity is then 
addressed by a shrill screech, used only on that occasion, 
and the offering presented to his representative (the little 
tuft of feathers), which after this is removed, and everything 
else left in statu quo, to the no small emolument of the rats, 
who quietly devour the offering. 

Keligion has been in all ages, and is still in all countries, 
clothed in mysteries inexplicable to human understanding. 
In the South Sea Islands it has still another disadvantage 
to any one who desires to investigate it : the language in 
which it is conveyed, or at least many words of it, is 
different from that of common conversation ; so that although 
Tupia often showed the greatest desire to instruct us in it, 
he found it almost impossible. It is only necessary to 
remember how difficult it would be to reconcile the apparent 
inconsistencies of our own religion to the faith of an infidel, 
and to recollect how many excellent discourses are daily 
read to instruct even us in the faith which we profess, to 
excuse me when I declare that I know less of the religion of 
these people than of any other part of their policy. What 
I do know, however, I shall here write down, hoping that 
inconsistencies may not appear to the eye of the candid 
reader as absurdities. 

This universe and its marvellous parts must strike the 
most stupid with a desire of knowing from whence they 
themselves and it were produced ; their priests, however, 
have not ideas sufficiently enlarged to adopt that of creation. 
That this world should have been originally created from 



nothing far surpasses their comprehension. They observed, 
however, that every animal and every plant produced others, 
and adopted the idea ; hence it is necessary to suppose two 
original beings, one of whom they called Ettoomoo, and the 
other, which they say was a rock, Tepapa. These, at some 
very remote period of time, produced men and women, and 
from their children is derived all that is seen or known to 
us. Some things, however, they imagine, increased among 
themselves, as the stars, the different species of plants, and 
even the different divisions of time the year, say they, 
produced the months, who in their turn produced the days. 

Their gods are numerous, and are divided into two 
classes, the greater and the lesser gods, and in each class 
some are of both sexes. The chief of all is Tarroatiettoomoo, 
the father of all things, whom they emphatically style the 
" Causer of Earthquakes " ; his son, Tane, is, however, 
much more generally invoked, as he is supposed to be the 
more active deity. The men worship the male gods, and 
the women the females ; the men, however, supply the 
office of priest for both sexes. 

They believe in a heaven and a hell : the first they call 
Tamrua 1'orai, the other tiahoboo. Heaven they describe as 
a place of great happiness, while hell is only a place enjoy- 
ing less of the luxuries of life : to this, they say, the 
souls of the inferior people go after death, and those of 
the chiefs and rich men go to heaven. This is one of the 
strongest instances to show that their religion is totally 
independent of morality, no actions regarding their neigh- 
bours are supposed to come at all under the cognisance of 
the diety : a humble regard only is to be shown him, and 
his assistance asked on all occasions with much ceremony 
and some sacrifice, from whence are derived the perquisites 
of the priests. 

The Tahowa, or priest, is here a hereditary dignity. 
These priests are numerous : the chief of them is generally the 
younger brother of some very good family, and ranks next 
to the king. All priests are commonly more learned than 
the laity : their learning consists chiefly in knowing well 


the names and rank of the different Eatuas, or divinities, the 
origin of the universe and all its parts, etc. This knowledge 
has been handed down to them in set sentences, of which 
those who are clever can repeat an almost infinite number. 

Besides religion, the practice of physic and the knowledge 
of navigation and astronomy is in the possession of the 
priests : the name indeed, Tahowa, signifies a man of 
knowledge, so that even here the priests monopolise the 
greater part of the learning of the country in much the 
same manner as they formerly did in Europe. From their 
learning they gain profit as well as respect, each in his 
particular order ; for each order has priests of its own ; nor 
would those of the manahounis do anything for a toutou 
who is below them. 

Marriage in these islands is no more than an agreement 
between man and woman, totally independent of the priest ; 
it is in general, I believe, well kept, unless the parties agree 
to separate, which is done with as little trouble as they came 
together. Few people, however, enter this state, but rather 
choose freedom, though bought at the inhuman expense of 
murdering their children, whose fate is in that case entirely 
dependent on the father, who if he does not choose to 
acknowledge both them and the woman, and engage to con- 
tribute his part towards their support, orders the child to be 
strangled, which is instantly put in execution. 

If our priests have excelled theirs in persuading us that 
marriage cannot be lawful without their benediction having 
been bought, they have done it by intermingling it so far 
with religion that the fear of punishment from above secures 
their power over us ; but these untaught persons have 
secured to themselves the profit of two operations without 
being driven to the necessity of so severe a penalty on the 
refusal, viz. tattowirig and circumcision; neither of these 
can be performed by any but priests, and as the highest 
degree of shame attaches to the neglect of either, the people 
are as much obliged to make use of them as if bound by the 
highest ties of religion, of which both customs are totally 
independent. They give no reason for the tattowing but 

1769 MARAIS 175 

that their ancestors did the same : for both these operations 
the priests are paid by every one according to his ability, 
in the same manner as weddings, christenings, etc., etc., are 
paid for in Europe. Their places of public worship, or 
marais, are square enclosures of very different sizes, from 
ten to a hundred yards in length. At one end a heap or 
pile of stones is built up, near which the bones of the 
principal people are interred, those of their dependents 
lying all round on the outside of the wall. Near or in 
these enclosures are often placed planks carved into different 
figures, and very frequently images of many men standing 
on each other's heads ; these, however, are in no degree the 
objects of adoration, every prayer and sacrifice being offered 
to invisible deities. 

Near, or even within the marai, are one or more large 
altars, raised on high posts ten or twelve feet above the 
ground, which are called ewhattas ; on these are laid the 
offerings, hogs, dogs, fowls, fruits, or whatever else the piety 
or superfluity of the owner thinks proper to dedicate to the 

Both these places are reverenced in the highest degree : 
no man approaches them without taking his clothes from off 
his shoulders, and no woman is on any account permitted 
to enter them. The women, however, have marais of their 
own, where they worship and sacrifice to their goddesses. 

Of these marais each family of consequence has one, 
which serves for himself and his dependents. As each 
family values itself on its antiquity, so are the marais 
esteemed: in the Society Isles, especially Ulhietea, were 
some of great antiquity, particularly that of Tapo de boatea. 
The material of these is rough and coarse, but the stones of 
which they are composed are immensely large. At Otahite 
again, where from frequent wars or other accidents many 
of the most ancient families are extinct, they have tried to 
make them as elegant and expensive as possible, of which 
sort is that of Oamo (described on pp. 102-4). 

Besides their gods, each island has a bird, to which the 
title of Eatua or god is given : for instance Ulhietea has the 


heron, and Bola-Bola a kind of kingfisher : these birds are 
held in high respect, and are never killed or molested : they 
are thought to be givers of good or bad fortune, but no sort 
of worship is offered to them. 

Though I dare not assert that these people, to whom the 
art of writing, and consequently of recording laws, etc., is 
totally unknown, live under a regular form of government, 
yet the subordination which takes place among them very 
much resembles the early state of the feudal laws, by which 
our ancestors were so long governed, a system evidently 
formed to secure the licentious liberty of a few, while the 
greater part of the society are unalterably immersed in the 
most abject slavery. 

Their orders are Earee ra hie, which answers to king ; 
earee, baron ; manahouni, vassal ; and toutou, villain. The 
earee ra hie is always the head of the best family in the 
country : to him great respect is paid by all ranks, but in 
power he seemed to be inferior to several of the principal 
earees, nor indeed did he once appear in the transaction of 
any part of our business. Next to him in rank are the 
earees, each of whom holds one or more of the districts into 
which the island is divided : in Otahite there may be about 
a hundred such districts, which are by the earees parcelled 
out to the manahounis, each of whom cultivates his part, 
and for the use of it owes his chief service and provisions 
when called upon, especially when the latter travels, which he 
constantly does, accompanied by many of his friends and 
their families, often amounting to nearly a hundred principals, 
besides their attendants. Inferior to the manahounis are 
the toutous, who are almost upon the same footing as the 
slaves in the East Indian Islands, only that they never 
appeared transferable from one to the other. These do all 
kinds of laborious work : till the land, fetch wood and water, 
dress the victuals, under the direction, however, of the 
mistress of the family, catch fish, etc. Besides these are 
the two classes of erata and towha, who seem to answer to 
yeomen and gentlemen, as they came between the earee and 
manahouni : but as I was not acquainted with the existence 


of these classes during our stay in the island, I know little 
of their real situation. 

Each of the earees keeps a kind of court, and has a large 
attendance, chiefly of the younger brothers of his own 
family and of other earees. Among these were different 
officers of the court, as Heewa no t' Earee, Whanno no t' 
Earee, who were sometimes sent to us on business. Of all 
these courts Dootahah's was the most splendid, indeed we 
were almost inclined to believe that he acted as locum tenens 
for Otow, the Earee ra hie being his nephew, as he lived 
upon an estate belonging to him, and we never could hear 
that he had any other public place of residence. 

The earees, or rather the districts which they possess, 
are obliged in time of a general attack to furnish each 
their quota of soldiers for the public service ; those of the 
principal districts which Tupia recollected, when added 
together, amounted to 6680 men, to which army it is 
probable that the small quotas of the rest would not make 
any great addition. 

Besides these public wars, which must be headed by the 
JEaree ra hie, any private difference between two earees is 
decided by their own people without in the least disturbing 
the tranquillity of the public. Their weapons are slings, 
which they use with great dexterity, pikes headed with the 
stings of sting-rays, and clubs six or seven feet long, made 
of a very heavy and hard wood ; with these they fight by 
their own account very obstinately, which appears the more 
probable as the conquerors give no quarter to any man, 
woman, or child who is unfortunate enough to fall into 
their hands during or for some time after the battle, that 
is, until their passion has subsided. 

Otahite at the time of our stay there was divided into 
two kingdoms, Oporenoo, the larger, and Tiarrebo ; each had 
its separate king, etc. etc., who were at peace with each 
other ; the king of Oporenoo, however, called himself king 
of both, in just the same manner as European monarchs 
usurp the title of king over kingdoms in which they have 
not the least influence. 



It is not to be expected that in a government of this 
kind justice can be properly administered, we saw indeed 
no signs of punishment during our stay. Tupia, however, 
always insisted upon it that theft was punished with death, 
and smaller crimes in proportion. All punishments, how- 
ever, were the business of the injured party, who, if superior 
to him who committed the crime, easily executed them by 
means of his more numerous attendants ; equals seldom 
chose to molest each other, unless countenanced by their 
superiors, who assisted them to defend their unjust acquisi- 
tions. The chiefs, however, to whom in reality all kinds 
of property belong, punish their dependents for crimes 
committed against each other, and the dependents of others, 
if caught doing wrong within their districts. 


AUG. 15 Nov. 22, 1769 

Waterspout Comet : its effect on natives Diary at sea Condition of ship's 
supplies Port Egmont hens Land of New Zealand made A native 
shot Conflict with natives Capture of a canoe Poverty Bay Natives 
come on board Their appearance and clothing Boy seized by natives 
Appearance of the land Occupations of the natives Bracken as food 
Mode of fighting Religion A large canoe Natives throw stones on 
board Coast along New Zealand Habits of natives Transit of Mercury 
Shags Oysters Lobster-catching Heppahs or forts Thames River 
Timber trees. 

1 6th August 1769. Early this morning we were told that 
land was in sight. It proved to be a cloud, but at first sight 
was so like land that it deceived every man in the ship ; even 
Tupia gave it a name. 

Vlfh. A heavy swell from the south-west all day, so we 
are not yet under the lee of the continent. Our taros 
(roots like a yam, called in the West Indies cocos) failed us 
to-day ; many of them were rotten. They would probably 
have kept longer had we had either time or opportunity of 
drying them well, but I believe that at the best they are 
very much inferior to either yams or potatoes for keeping. 

24ith. The morning was calm. About nine it began 
to blow fresh with rain, which came on without the least 
warning ; at the same time a waterspout was seen to lee- 
ward. It appeared to me so inconsiderable, that had it not 
been pointed out to me, I should not have particularly 
noticed the appearance. It resembled a line of thick mist, 
as thick as a middling-sized tree, which reached, not in a 


straight line, almost to the water's edge, and in a few 
minutes totally disappeared. Its distance, I suppose, made 
it appear so trifling, as the seamen judged it to be not less 
than two or three miles from us. 

29th. In the course of last night a phenomenon was 
seen in the heavens which Mr. Green says is either a comet 
or a nebula ; he does not know which ; the seamen have 
observed it these three nights. 

30th. Our comet is this morning acknowledged, and 
proves a very large one, but very faint. Tupia, as soon as 
he saw it, declared that the people of Bola-Bola would, upon 
the sight of it, kill the people of Ulhietea, of whom as many 
as were able would fly into the mountains. Several birds 
were seen : pintados, albatrosses of both kinds, the little 
silver-backed bird which we saw off the Falkland Isles 
and Cape Horn (Procellaria velox), and a gray shearwater. 
Peter saw a green bird about the size of a dove : the colour 
makes us hope that it is a land bird ; it took, however, not 
the least notice of the ship. Some seaweed was also seen 
to pass by the ship, but as it was a very small piece, our 
hopes are not very sanguine on that head. 

3 1st. Many millions, I may safely say, of the Procellaria 
velox mentioned yesterday were about the ship to-day ; they 
were grayish on the back, and some had a dark -coloured 
mark going in a crooked direction over the back and wings. 
I tried to-day to catch some of these numerous attendants 
with a hook; but after the whole morning spent in the 
attempt caught only one pintado, which proved to be Procel- 
laria capensis, Linn. 

19th September. Shot Procellaria velox (the dove of the 
31st), P. vagabunda (a gray - backed shearwater) and a 
Passerina. Took with the dipping-net Medusa vitrea, 
Phyllodoce velella (to one species of which adhered Lepas 
anatifera), Doris complanata, Helix violacea, 1 and a Cancer. 

23rd. Dr. Solander has been unwell for some days, so 
to-day I opened Dr. Hulme's essence of lemon juice, Mr. 
Monkhouse having prescribed it for him ; it proved perfectly 

1 A species of lanthina. 


good, little, if at all, inferior in taste to fresh lemon juice. 
We also to-day made a pie of the North American apples 
which Dr. Fothergill had given me, and which proved very 
good ; if not quite equal to the apple pies which our friends 
in England are now eating, good enough to please us who 
have been so long deprived of the fruits of our native country. 
In the main, however, we are very well off for refreshments 
and provisions of most sorts. Our ship's beef and pork are 
excellent ; peas, flour, and oatmeal are at present, and have 
been in general, very good ; our water is as sweet and 
has rather more spirit than it had when drank out of the 
river at Otahite ; our bread, indeed, is but indifferent, occa- 
sioned by the quantity of vermin that are in it. I have 
often seen hundreds, nay, thousands, shaken out of a single 
biscuit. We in the cabin have, however, an easy remedy for 
this, by baking it in an oven, not too hot, which makes them 
all walk off ; but this cannot be allowed to the ship's people, 
who must find the taste of these animals very disagreeable, 
as they every one taste as strong as mustard, or rather 
spirits of hartshorn. They are of five kinds, three Tenebrio, 
one Ptinus, and the PJialangium canchroides ; this last, how- 
ever, is scarce in the common bread, but vastly plentiful in 
white meal biscuits, as long as we had any left. 

Wheat has been boiled for the breakfasts of the ship's 
company two or three times a week, in the same manner as 
frumenty is made. This has, I believe, been a very useful 
refreshment to them, as well as an agreeable food, which I 
myself and most of the officers in the ship have constantly 
breakfasted upon in the cold weather. The grain was origin- 
ally of a good quality, and has kept without the least damage. 
This, however, cannot be said of the malt, of which we have 
plainly had two kinds, one very good, which was used up 
some time ago. What we are at present using is good for 
nothing at all; it was originally of a bad light grain, and 
so little care has been taken in making it that the tails are 
left in with innumerable other kinds of dirt ; add to all 
this that it has been damped on board ship ; so that, with all 
the care that can be used, it will scarce give a tincture to 


water. Portable soup is very good ; it has now and then 
required an airing to prevent it from moulding. Sour crout 
is as good as ever. 

So much for the ship's company : we ourselves are hardly 
as well off as they. Our live stock consists of seventeen 
sheep, four or five fowls, as many South Sea hogs, four or five 
Muscovy ducks, and an English hoar and sow with a litter 
of pigs. In the use of these we are rather sparing, as the 
time of our getting a fresh supply is rather precarious. 
Salt stock we have nothing worth mentioning, except a kind 
of salt beef and salted cabbage. Our malt liquors have 
answered extremely well ; we have now both small beer and 
porter upon tap, as good as I ever drank them, especially 
the latter. The small beer had some art used to make it 
keep. Our wine I cannot say much for, though I believe it 
to be good in its nature ; we have not had a glass full these 
many months, I believe chiefly owing to the carelessness or 
ignorance of the steward. 

2nd October. Took Dagysa rostrata, serena, and polyedra ; 
Beroe incrassata and coarctata ; Medusa vitrea ; PJiyllodoce 
velella, with several other things which are all put in spirits ; 
Diomedea exulans ; Procellaria velox, palmipes, latirostris, and 
longipes ; and Nectris fuliginosa. 

3rd. In the course of the day several pieces of a new 
species of seaweed were taken, and one piece of wood covered 
with striated barnacles (Lepas anserina). 

5th. Two seals passed the ship asleep, and three birds 
which Mr. Gore calls Port Egmont hens (Larus catarrhactes). 
He says they are a sure sign of our being near land. They 
are something larger than a crow ; in flight much like one, 
flapping their wings often with a slow motion. Their 
bodies and wings are of a dark chocolate or soot colour ; 
under each wing is a small broadish bar of a dirty white, 
which makes them so remarkable that it is hardly possible 
to mistake them. They are seen, as he says, all along the 
coast of South America and the Falkland Isles. I myself 
remember to have seen them at Terra del Fuego, but by 
some accident did not note them down. 


*lth. This morning the land was plainly seen from the 
deck ; it appears to be very large. About eleven a large 
smoke was seen, and soon after several more sure signs of 
inhabitants. I shot Nectris munda and Procellaria velox, 
and took with the dipping-net Dagysa gemma, and a good 
deal of Fucus sertularia, etc., the examination of which is 
postponed till we shall have more time than we are likely 
to have at present. 

8th. This morning we are very near the land, which 
forms many white cliffs like chalk. The hills are in general 
clothed with trees ; in the valleys some appear to be very 
large. The whole appearance is not so fruitful as we could 
wish. We stood in for a large bay in hopes of finding a 
harbour, and before we were well within the heads we saw 
several canoes standing across the bay, which after a little 
time returned to the place they came from without appear- 
ing to take the least notice of us. Some houses were also 
seen, which appeared low but neat ; near one of them there 
were a good many people collected, who sat down upon the 
beach, seemingly observing us. On a small peninsular at 
the north-east head we could plainly see a regular paling, 
pretty high, inclosing the top of a hill, for what purpose many 
conjectures were made ; most are of opinion, or say at least, 
that it must be either a park of deer or a field of 
oxen and sheep. By four o'clock we came to an anchor 
nearly two miles from the shore. The bay appears to be 
quite open, without the least shelter ; the two sides of it 
make in high white cliffs ; the middle is lowland, with hills 
gradually rising behind one another to a chain of high 
mountains inland. Here we saw many great smokes, some 
near the beach, others between the hills, some very far 
within land, which we looked upon as great indications of a 
populous country. 

In the evening I went ashore with the marines. We 
marched from the boats in hopes of finding water, etc., and 
saw a few of the natives, who ran away immediately on 
seeing us. While we were absent four of them attacked 
our small boat, in which were only four boys. They got off 


from the shore in a river ; the people followed them and 
threatened with long lances ; the pinnace soon came to their 
assistance, fired upon the natives, and killed the chief. The 
other three dragged the body about a hundred yards and 
then left it. At the report of the muskets we drew 
together and went to the place where the body was left ; it 
was shot through the heart. He was a middle-sized man, 
tattowed on the face on one cheek only, in spiral lines very 
regularly formed. He was covered with a fine cloth of a 
manufacture totally new to us ; it was tied on exactly as 
represented in Mr. Dalrymple's book, 1 p. 6 3 ; his hair was 
also tied in a knot on the top of his head, but there was no 
feather stuck in it ; his complexion brown but not very dark. 

Soon after we came on board we very distinctly heard 
the people ashore talking very loud, although they were not 
less than two miles distant from us. 

9th. On attempting to land this morning the Indians 
received us with threatening demonstrations, but a musket 
fired wide of them intimidated them, and they allowed us 
to approach near enough to parley. Tupia found their 
language so near his own that he could tolerably well 
understand them. He induced them to lay down their 
arms, and we gave them some beads and iron, neither of 
which they seemed to value ; indeed, they seemed totally 
ignorant of the use of the latter. They constantly 
attempted to seize our arms, or anything they could get, so 
that we were obliged to fire on them and disperse them ; 
none were, we hope, killed. Soon after we intercepted a 
native canoe; but when we came up with it, the owners 
made so desperate a resistance that we were compelled to 
fire upon them, killing four; the other three (boys) 
attempted to swim to shore, but were captured and taken 
on board the ship. On finding that they were not to be 
killed, they at once recovered their spirits, and soon 
appeared to have forgotten everything that had happened. 
At supper they ate an enormous quantity of bread, and 

1 An Account of the Discoveries made in the South Pacifick Ocean, previous to 
1764. By Alexander Dalrymple. London, 1767. 

OCT. 1769 POVERTY BAY 185 

drank over a quart of water apiece. Thus ended the most 
disagreeable day my life has yet seen ; black be the mark 
for it, and heaven send that such may never return to 
embitter future reflection. 

IQth. The native boys, after being loaded with presents, 
were put in the boats and rowed ashore by our men. They 
at first begged hard not to be set ashore at the place where 
we had landed yesterday, and to which we first rowed 
to-day, but afterwards voluntarily landed there. The 
natives again appeared threatening, but it was presently 
discovered that they were friends of the boys we had 
captured, and a peace was presently concluded by our 
acceptance of green boughs which they presented to us ; a 
not unimportant ratification apparently being the removal 
by them of the body of the man killed yesterday, which had 
remained till now on the same spot. 

11th. This morning we took leave of Poverty Bay, as we 
named it, with not above forty species of plants in our boxes, 
which is not to be wondered at, as we were so little ashore, 
and always upon the same spot. The only time when we 
wandered about a mile from the boats was upon a swamp 
where not more than three species of plants were found. 

Several canoes put off from the shore, and came towards 
us within less than a quarter of a mile, but could not at 
first be persuaded to come nearer. At last one was seen 
coming from Poverty Bay, or near it. She had only four 
people in her, one of whom I well remembered to have seen 
at our first interview on the rock. These never stopped to 
look at anything, but came at once alongside of the ship, 
and with very little persuasion came on board. Their 
example was quickly followed by the rest, seven canoes in 
all, and fifty men. Many presents were given to them, 
notwithstanding which they very quickly sold almost every- 
thing that they had with them, even their clothes from their 
backs, and the paddles out of their boats. Arms they had 
none, except two men, one of whom sold his 
patoo patoo, as he called it, a short weapon of 
green talc of this shape, intended, doubtless, for fighting 


hand-to-hand, and certainly well contrived for splitting skulls, 
as it weighs not less than four or five pounds, and has sharp 
edges excellently polished. 

The people were, in general, of a middling size, though 
there was no one who measured more than six feet. Their 
colour was a dark brown. Their lips were stained with 
something put under the skin (as in the Otahite tattow), and 
their faces marked with deeply - engraved furrows, also 
coloured black, and formed in regular spirals. Of these, the 
oldest people had much the greatest quantity, and most 
deeply channelled, in some not less than ^ part of an 
inch. Their hair was black, and tietl up on the tops of 
their heads in a little knot, in which were stuck feathers 
of various birds in different tastes, according to the 
humour of the wearer. Sometimes they had one knot on 
each side, and pointing forwards, which made a most dis- 
agreeable appearance. In their ears they generally wore a 
large bunch of the milk-white down of some bird. The 
faces of some were painted with a red colour in oil, some 
all over, others in parts only. In their hair was much oil, 
which had very little smell, but more lice than ever I saw 
before. Most of them had a small comb, neatly enough 
made, sometimes of wood, sometimes of bone, which they 
seem to prize much. A few had on their faces or arms 
regular scars, as if made with a sharp instrument, such as I 
have seen on the faces of negroes. The inferior sort were 
clothed in something that very much resembled hemp : the 
loose strings of this were fastened together at the top, and it 
hung down about two feet like a petticoat. Of these 
garments they wore two, one round their shoulders, and the 
other about their waists. The richer had garments probably 
of a finer sort of the same stuff, most beautifully made, and 
exactly like that of the South American Indians at this day, 
and as fine, or finer, than a piece which I bought at Eio de 
Janeiro for thirty-six shillings, and which was esteemed un- 
commonly cheap at that price. Their boats were not large, 
but well made, something like our whale boats, not longer. 
The bottom was the trunk of a tree hollowed out, and very 


thin. This was raised by a board on each side, with a strip 
of wood sewed over the seani to make it tight. On the 
prow of every one was carved the head of a man with an 
enormous tongue reaching out of his mouth. These gro- 
tesque figures were generally very well executed; some 
had eyes inlaid with something that shone very much. The 
whole served to give us an idea of their taste, as well as 
ingenuity in execution. It was certainly much superior 
to anything we have yet seen. 

Their behaviour while on board showed every sign of 
friendship. They invited us very cordially to come back 
to our old bay, or to a small cove near it. I could not help 
wishing that we had done so, but the captain chose rather 
to stand on in search of a better harbour. God send that we 
may not have the same tragedy to act over again as we so 
lately perpetrated. The country is certainly divided into many 
small principalities, so we cannot hope that an account of 
our weapons and management of them can be conveyed as 
far as we must in all probability go ; and of this I am well 
convinced, that till these warlike people have severely felt 
our superiority they will never behave to us in a friendly 

About an hour before sunset the canoes left us, and with 
us three of their people, who were very desirous to have 
gone with them, but were not permitted to return. What 
their reason for so doing is we can only guess ; possibly they 
may think that their being on board may induce us to 
remain here till to-morrow, when they will return and 
renew the traffic by which they find themselves so great 
gamers. The three people were tolerably cheerful ; enter- 
tained us with dancing and singing after their custom ; ate 
their suppers and went to bed very quietly. 

1 2th. During last night the ship sailed some leagues, 
which, as soon as the three men saw, they began to lament 
and weep very much, and Tupia could with difficulty comfort 
them. About seven o'clock two canoes appeared, one of 
which contained an old man who seemed to be a chief, from 
the fineness of his garment and patoo patoo, which was made 


of bone (he said of a whale). He stayed but a short time, 
and when he went he took with him our three guests, much 
to our, as well as their, satisfaction. 

In sailing along shore, we could clearly see several 
cultivated spots of land, some freshly turned up, and lying 
in furrows, as if ploughed; others with plants growing 
upon them, some younger and some older. We also saw in 
two places high rails upon the ridges of hills, but could only 
guess that they are a part of some superstition, as they were 
in lines not inclosing anything. 

1 5th. Snow was still to be seen upon the mountains inland. 
In the morning we were abreast of the southernmost cape of 
a large bay, the northernmost of which was named Portland 
Isle. The bay itself was called Hawke's Bay. The southern 
point was called Cape Kidnappers, on account of an attempt 
made by the natives to steal Tayeto, Tupia's boy. He was 
employed in handing up the articles which the natives were 
selling, when one of the men in a canoe seized him and 
pushed off. A shot was fired into the canoe, whereupon 
they loosed the boy, who immediately leaped into the water 
and swam to the ship. When he had a little recovered from 
his fright, Tayeto brought a fish to Tupia, and told him that 
he intended it as an offering to his eatua, in gratitude for 
his escape. Tupia approved it, and ordered him to throw it 
in the water, which he did. 

16th. Mountains covered with snow were in sight again 
this morning, so that a chain of them probably runs within 
the country. Vast shoals of fish were about the ship, 
pursued by large flocks of brownish birds a little bigger 
than a pigeon (Nectris munda). Their method of fishing 
was amusing enough : a whole flock of birds would follow 
the fish, which swam fast; they continually plunged under 
water, and soon after rose again in another place, so that the 
whole flock sometimes vanished altogether, and rose again, 
often where you did not expect them ; in less than a 
minute's time they were down again, and so alternately as 
long as we saw them. Before dinner we were abreast of 
another cape, which made in a bluff rock, the upper part of 

OCT. 1769 HAWKE'S BAY !8 9 

a reddish-coloured stone or clay, the lower white. Beyond 
this the country appeared pleasant, with low smooth hills 
like downs. The captain thought it not necessary to 
proceed any farther on this side of the coast, so the ship's 
head was turned to the northward, and the cape thence 
called Cape Turnagain. At night we were off Hawke's Bay 
and saw two monstrous fires inland on the hills. We are 
now inclined to think that these, and most if not all the 
great fires that we have seen, are made for the convenience 
of clearing the land for tillage, but for whatever purpose 
they are a certain indication that where they are the country 
is inhabited. 

20th. Several canoes followed us, and seemed very 
peaceably inclined, inviting us to go into a bay they pointed 
out, where they said was plenty of fresh water. We followed 
them in, and by eleven came to an anchor. We then 
invited two, who seemed by their dress to be chiefs, to come 
on board ; they immediately accepted our invitation. In the 
meantime those who remained in the canoes traded with our 
people very fairly for whatever they had in their boats. The 
chiefs, who were two old men, the one dressed in a jacket 
ornamented after their fashion with dog skin, the other in 
one covered almost entirely with some tufts of red feathers, 
received our presents, and stayed with us till we had dined. 

21st. At daybreak the waterers went ashore, and soon 
after Dr. Solander and myself did the same. There was a 
good deal of surf upon the beach, but we landed without 
much difficulty. The natives sat by our people, but did not 
intermix with them. They traded, however, for cloth chiefly, 
giving whatever they had, though they seemed pleased with 
observing our people, as well as with the gain they got by 
trading with them ; yet they did not neglect their ordinary 
occupations. In the morning several of their boats went 
out fishing, and at dinner-time all went to their respective 
homes, returning after a certain time. Such fair appearances 
made Dr. Solander and myself almost trust them ; we ranged 
all about the bay and were well repaid by finding many 
plants, and shooting some most beautiful birds. In doing 


this we visited several houses, and saw a little of their 
customs, for they were not at all shy of showing us anything 
we desired to see, nor did they on our account interrupt their 
meals, the only employment we saw them engaged in. 

Their food at this time of the year consisted of fish, with 
which, instead of bread, they eat the roots of a kind of fern, 
Pteris crenulata, 1 very like that which grows upon our 
commons in England. These were slightly roasted on the 
fire and then beaten with a stick, which took off the bark 
and dry outside ; what remained had a sweetish, clammy, 
but not disagreeable taste. It might be esteemed a tolerable 
food, were it not for the quantity of strings and fibres in it, 
which in quantity three or four times exceed the soft part. 
These were swallowed by some, but the greater number spit 
them out, for which purpose they had a basket standing 
under them to receive their chewed morsels, in shape and 
colour not unlike chaws of tobacco. Though at this time of 
the year this most homely fare was their principal diet, yet 
in the proper seasons they certainly have plenty of excellent 
vegetables. We have seen no sign of tame animals among 
them, except very small and ugly dogs. Their plantations 
were now hardly finished, but so well was the ground tilled 
that I have seldom seen land better broken up. In them 
were planted sweet potatoes, cocos, and a plant of the 
cucumber kind, as we judged from the seed leaves which 
just appeared above ground. 

The first of these were planted in small hills, some in 
rows, others in quincunx, all laid most regularly in line. 
The cocos were planted on flat land, and had not yet 
appeared above ground. The cucumbers were set in small 
hollows or ditches, much as in England. These plantations 
varied in size from 1 to 10 acres each. In the bay there 
might be 150 or 200 acres in cultivation, though we did 
not see 100 people in all. Each distinct patch was fenced 
in, generally with reeds placed close one by another, so that 
a mouse could scarcely creep through. 

When we went to their houses, men, women and children 

1 The same plant as the British bracken, Pteris aquilina. 


received us ; no one showed the least signs of fear. The 
women were plain, and made themselves more so by paint- 
ing their faces with red ochre and oil, which was generally 
fresh and wet upon their cheeks and foreheads, easily trans- 
ferable to the noses of any one who should attempt to kiss 
them, not that they seemed to have any objection to such 
familiarities, as the noses of several of our people evidently 
showed. But they were as coquettish as any Europeans 
could be, and the young ones as skittish as unbroken fillies. 
One part of their dress I cannot omit to mention: besides 
their cloth, each one wore round the waist a string made of 
the leaves of a highly-perfumed grass, 1 to which was fastened 
a small bunch of the leaves of some fragrant plant. Though 
the men did not so frequently paint their faces, yet they 
often did so ; one especially I observed, whose whole body 
and garments were rubbed over with dry ochre ; of this he 
constantly kept a piece in his hand, and generally rubbed it 
on some part or other. 

In the evening, all the boats being employed in carrying 
on board water, we were likely to be left ashore till after dark. 
We did not like to lose so much of our time for sorting our 
specimens and putting them in order, so we applied to our 
friends the Indians for a passage in one of their canoes. 
They readily launched one for us ; but we, in number eight, 
not being used to so ticklish a conveyance, overset her in 
the surf, and were very well soused. Four of us were 
obliged to remain, and Dr. Solander, Tupia, Tayeto and 
myself embarked again, and came without accident to the 
ship, well pleased with the behaviour of our Indian friends, 
who would a second time undertake to carry off such clumsy 

24th. Dr. Solander and I went ashore botanising, and 
found many new plants. The people behaved perfectly 
well, not mixing with or at all interrupting our people in 
what they were about, but on the contrary selling them 
whatever they had for Otahite cloth and glass bottles, of 
which they were uncommonly fond. 

1 Hierochloe redolens, Br. 


In our walks we met with many houses in the valleys 
that seemed to be quite deserted. The people lived on the 
ridges of hills in very slightly-built houses, or rather sheds. 
For what reason they have left the valleys we can only 
guess, maybe for air, but if so they purchase that con- 
venience at a dear rate, as all their fishing tackle and lobster 
pots, of which they have many, must be brought up with 
no small labour. 

"We saw also an extraordinary natural curiosity. In pur- 
suing a valley bounded on each side by steep hills, we 
suddenly saw a most noble arch or cavern through the face 
of a rock leading directly to the sea, so that through it we 
had not only a view of the bay and hills on the other side, 
but an opportunity of imagining a ship or any other grand 
object opposite to it. It was certainly the most magnificent 
surprise I have ever met with ; so much is pure nature 
superior to art in these cases. I have seen such places 
made by art, where from an inland view you were led 
through an arch 6 feet wide, and 7 feet high, to a prospect 
of the sea ; but here was an arch 2 5 yards in length, 
9 in breadth, and at least 15 in height. 

In the evening we returned to the watering-place, in order 
to go on board with our treasure of plants, birds, etc., but were 
prevented by an old man who detained us some time in show- 
ing us their exercises with arms, lances, and patoo patoos. The 
lance is made of a hard wood, from 10 to 14 feet long, 
and very sharp at the ends. A stick was set up as an 
enemy ; to this he advanced with a most furious aspect, 
brandishing his lance, which he held with great firmness ; 
after some time he ran at the stick, and, supposing it a 
man run through the body, immediately fell upon the upper 
end of it, dealing it most merciless blows with his patoo 
patoo, any one of which would have probably split most 
skulls. From this I should conclude that they give no 

25th. Went ashore this morning and renewed our 
search for plants, etc., with great success. In the mean- 
time Tupia, who stayed with the waterers, had much conver- 


sation with one of their priests ; they seemed to agree very 
well in their notions of religion, only Tupia was much 
more learned than the other, and all his discourse was 
received with much attention. He asked them in the course 
of his conversation many questions, among the rest whether 
or no they really ate men, which he was very loth to 
believe ; they answered in the affirmative, saying that they 
ate the bodies only of those of their enemies who were killed 
in war. 

Among other knicknacks, Dr. Solander bought a boy's 
top, which resembled those our boys play with in England, 
and which they made signs was to be whipped in the same 

2Sth. On an island called Jubolai we saw the largest 
canoe which we had met with; her length was 68 J feet, 
her breadth 5 feet, and her height 3 feet 6 inches. She 
was built with a sharp bottom, made in three pieces of 
trunks of trees hollowed out, the middlemost of which was 
much longer than either of the other two; their gunnel 
planks were in one piece 62 feet 2 inches in length, carved 
prettily enough in bas-relief; the head also was richly 
carved in their fashion. We saw also a house larger than 
any we had seen, though not more than 3 feet long ; it 
seemed as if it had never been finished, being full of chips ; 
the woodwork was squared so evenly and smoothly that we 
could not doubt of their having very sharp tools. All the 
side-posts were carved in a masterly style of their whimsical 
taste, which seems confined to making spirals and distorted 
human faces ; all these had clearly been moved from some 
other place, so that such work probably bears a value among 

While Mr. Sporing was drawing on the island he saw a 
most strange bird fly over his head. He described it as 
being about as large as a kite, and brown like one ; his tail, 
however, was of so enormous a length that he at first took 
it for a flock of small birds flying after him : he who is a 
grave thinking man, and is not at all given to telling 
wonderful stories, says he judged it to be yards in length. 



29th. Our water having been got on board the day 
before yesterday, and nothing done yesterday but getting a 
small quantity of wood and a large supply of excellent 
celery, with which this country abounds, we this morning 

30th. Before noon we passed by a cape which the 
captain judged to be the easternmost point of the country, 
and therefore called it East Cape, at least till another is 
found which better deserves that name. 

1st November. Just at nightfall we were under a small 
island, from whence came off a large double canoe, or rather 
two canoes lashed together at a distance of about a foot, 
and covered with boards so as to make a kind of deck. 
She came pretty near the ship, and the people in her talked 
with Tupia with much seeming friendship ; but when it 
was just dark they ran the canoe close to the ship and 
threw in three or four stones, after which they paddled 

2nd. Passed this morning between an island and the 
main, which appeared low and sandy, with a remarkable hill 
inland : flat and smooth as a molehill, though very high and 
large. Many canoes and people were seen along shore. 
Some followed us, but could not overtake us. A sailing 
canoe that had chased us ever since daybreak then came up 
with us, and proved the same double canoe which had 
pelted us last night, so that we prepared for another volley 
of their ammunition, dangerous to nothing on board but our 
windows. The event proved as we expected, for after having 
sailed with us an hour they threw their stones again. A 
musket was fired over them and they dropped astern, not, I 
believe, at all frightened by the musket, but content with 
having showed their courage by twice insulting us. We 
now begin to know these people, and are much less afraid 
of any daring attempt from them than we were. 

The country appeared low, with small cliffs near the 
shore, but seemingly very fertile inland ; we saw plainly 
with our glasses villages larger than any we had before 
seen, situated on the tops of cliffs in places almost in- 



accessible, besides which they were guarded by a deep 
fosse and a high paling within it, so that probably these 
people are much given to war. In the evening many towns 
were in sight, larger than those seen at noon, and always 
situated like them on the tops of cliffs and fenced in the 
same manner : under them, upon the beach, were many very 
large canoes, some hundreds I may safely say, some of 
which either had or appeared to have awnings, but not one 
of them put off. From all these circumstances we judged 
the country to be much better peopled hereabouts, and 
inhabited by richer people than we had before seen ; maybe 
it was the residence of some of their princes. As far as we 
have yet gone along the coast from Cape Turnagain to this 
place, the people have acknowledged only one chief, Teratu. 
If his dominion is really so large, he may have princes or 
governors under him capable of drawing together a vast 
number of people, for he himself is always said to live far 

3rd. The continent appeared this morning barren and 
rocky, but many islands were in sight, chiefly with such 
towns upon them as we saw yesterday. Two canoes put 
off from one, but could not overtake us. At breakfast a 
cluster of islands and rocks was in sight, which made an 
uncommon appearance from the number of perpendicular 
rocks or needles (as the seamen call them) which were in 
sight at once. These we called the Court of Aldermen, in 
respect to that worthy body, and entertained ourselves some 
time with giving names to each of them from their resemb- 
lance, thick and squab or lank and tall, to some one or 
other of those respectable citizens. Soon after this we 
passed an island, on which were houses built on the steep 
sides of rocks, inaccessible, I had almost said, to birds. How 
their inhabitants could ever have got to them surpassed my 
comprehension. At present, however, we saw none, so that 
these situations are probably no more than places to retire 
to in case of danger, which are totally evacuated in peace- 
able times. 

5th. Two Indians were seen fighting about some quarrel 


of their own ; they began with lances, which were soon taken 
from them by an old man, apparently a chief, but they were 
allowed to continue their battle, which they did like 
Englishmen with their fists for some time, after which all 
of them retired behind a little hill, so that our people did 
not see the event of the combat. 

6th. The Indians, as yesterday, were tame. Their 
habitations were certainly at a distance, as they had no 
houses, but slept under the bushes. The bay where we now 
are may be a place to which parties of them often resort for 
the sake of shell-fish, which are here very plentiful ; indeed, 
wherever we went, on hills or in valleys, in woods or plains, 
we continually met with vast heaps of shells, often many 
waggon-loads together, some appearing to be very old. 
Wherever these were it is more than probable that parties of 
Indians had at some time or other taken up their residence, 
as our Indians had made such a pile about them. The 
country in general was very barren, but the tops of the hills 
were covered with a very large fern, the roots of which they 
had got together in large quantities, as they said, to carry 
away with them. We did not see any kind of cultivation. 

8th. We botanised with our usual good success, which 
could not be doubted in a country so totally new. In the 
evening we went to our friends the Indians that we might 
see the method in which they slept : it was, as they had 
told us, on the bare ground, without more shelter than a 
few trees over their heads. The women and children were 
placed innermost, or farthest from the sea ; the men lay in a 
kind of semicircle round them, and on the trees close by 
were ranged their arms, in order, so no doubt they were 
afraid of an attack from some enemy not far off. They do 
not acknowledge any superior king, as did all those whom 
we had before seen, so possibly these are a set of outlaws 
from Teratu's kingdom. Their having no cultivation or 
houses makes it clear at least either that it is so or that this 
is not their real habitation ; they say, however, that they 
have houses and a fort somewhere at a distance, but do not 
say that even there there is any cultivation. 

NOV. 1769 MERCURY BAY 197 

9th. At daybreak this morning a vast number of boats 
came on board, almost loaded with mackerel of two sorts, 
one exactly the same as is caught in England. "We concluded 
that they had caught a large shoal and sold us the surplus, 
as they set very little value upon them. It was, however, 
a fortunate circumstance for us, as we soon had more fish 
on board than all hands could eat in two or three days, 
and before night so many that every mess who could raise 
any salt corned as many as will last them this month or 

After an early breakfast, the astronomer went on shore 
to observe the transit of Mercury, which he did without the 
smallest cloud intervening, a fortunate circumstance, as 
except yesterday and to-day we have not had a clear day 
for some time. 

10 tli. This day was employed in an excursion to view a 
large river at the bottom of a bay. Its mouth proved 
to be a good harbour, with sufficient water for our ship, 
but scarcely enough for a larger. The stream was in 
many places very wide, with large flats of mangroves, which 
at high water are covered. We went up about a league, 
where it was still wider than at the mouth, and divided 
itself into innumerable channels separated by mangrove 
flats, the whole several miles in breadth. The water was 
shoal, so we agreed to stop our disquisition here, and go 
ashore to dine. A tree in the neighbourhood, on which 
were many shags' nests, and old shags sitting by them, 
confirmed our resolution. An attack was consequently 
made on the shags, and about twenty were soon killed, 
and as soon broiled and eaten ; every one declaring that 
they were excellent food, as indeed I think they were. 
Hunger is certainly most excellent sauce ; but since we 
have no fowls and ducks left, we find ourselves able to eat 
any kind of bird (for indeed we throw away none) without 
even that kind of seasoning. Fresh provision to a seaman 
must always be most acceptable, if he can get over the 
small prejudices which once affected several in this ship, 
most or all of whom are now by virtue of good example 


completely cured. Our repast ended, we proceeded down 
the river again. At the mouth of it was a small Indian 
village, where we landed, and were most civilly received 
by the inhabitants, who treated us with hot cockles, or 
at least a small flat shell-fish (Tellina), which was most 
delicious food. 

lltk. An oyster bank was found in the river, about half 
a mile up, just above a small island which is covered at high 
water ; here the long-boat was sent and soon returned 
deeply loaded with as good oysters as ever came from Col- 
chester, and of about the same size. They were laid down 
under the booms, and employed the ship's company very 
well, who, I sincerely believe, did nothing but eat from the 
time they came on board till night, by which time a large 
part were expended. But this gave us no kind of uneasi- 
ness, since we well knew that not the boat only but the 
ship might be loaded in one tide almost, as they are dry 
at half ebb. 

12th. We all went ashore to see an Indian fort, or heppah, 
in the neighbourhood, uncertain, however, what kind of a re- 
ception we should meet with, as they might be jealous about 
letting us into a place where all their valuable effects were 
probably lodged. We went to a bay where were two heppahs, 
and landed first near a small one, the most beautiful romantic 
thing I ever saw. It was built on a small rock detached 
from the main, and surrounded at high water ; the top of 
this was fenced round with rails after their manner, but was 
not large enough to contain above five or six houses ; the 
whole appeared totally inaccessible to any animal who was 
not furnished with wings, indeed, it was only approachable 
by one very narrow and steep path, but what made it most 
truly romantic was that much the greater part of it was 
hollowed out into an arch, which penetrated quite through 
it, the top being not less than twenty perpendicular yards 
above the water, which ran through it. 

The inhabitants on our approach came down, and invited 
us to go in ; but we refused, intending to visit a much larger 
and more perfect one about a mile off: we spent, however, 


some little time in making presents to their women. In 
the meanwhile we saw the inhabitants of the other come 
down from it, men, women and children, about one hundred 
in number, and march towards us ; as soon as they came 
near enough they waved, and called haromai, and sat down 
in the bushes near the beach (a sure mark of their good 

We went to them, made a few presents, and asked leave 
to go up to their heppah, which they with joy invited us to 
do, and immediately accompanied us to it. It was called 
Wharretoueva, and was situated at the end of a hill where 
it jutted out into the sea, which washed its two sides : these 
were sufficiently steep, but not absolutely inaccessible. Up 
one of the land sides, which was also steep, went the road ; 
the other side was flat and open. The whole was enclosed 
by a palisade about ten feet high, made of strong poles 
bound together with withies : the weak side next the hill 
had also a ditch, twenty feet in depth nearest the palisade. 
Besides this, beyond the palisade was built a fighting stage, 
which they call pordva. It is a flat stage covered with 
branches of trees upon which they stand to throw darts or 
stones at their assailants, they themselves being out of 
danger. Its dimensions were as follows : its height above 
the ground 20 J feet, breadth 6 feet 6 inches, length 43 feet ; 
upon it were laid bundles of darts, and heaps of stones, ready 
in case of an attack. One of the young men at our desire 
went up to show their method of fighting, and another went 
to the outside of the ditch to act as assailant ; they both 
sang their war-song, and danced with the same frightful 
gesticulations as we have often seen, threatening each other 
with their weapons. This, I suppose, they do in their attacks, 
to work themselves into a sufficient fury of courage, for 
what we call calm resolution is, I believe, found in few un- 
civilised people. The side next the road was also defended 
by a similar stage, but much longer ; the other two were by 
their steepness thought to be sufficiently secure with the 
palisade. The inside was divided into, I believe, twenty 
larger and smaller divisions, some of which contained not 


more than one or two houses, others twelve or fourteen. 
Every one of these was enclosed by its own palisade, though 
not so high and strong as the general one ; in these were 
vast heaps of dried fish and fern roots piled up, so much so 
that if they had had water, I should have thought them 
well prepared for a siege, but that had to be fetched from 
a brook below ; so that they probably do not besiege a town 
as we do in Europe. Without the fence were many houses 
and large nets, the latter, I suppose, being brought in upon 
any alarm ; there was also about half an acre planted with 
gourds and sweet potatoes, the only cultivation we have 
seen in this bay. 

~L4Jh. As we were resolved to stay no longer here, we all 
went ashore, the boats to get as much celery and oysters as 
possible, Dr. Solander and myself to get as many green plants 
as possible, in order to finish the sketches, etc., while at sea; 
so an enormous number of all these articles came on board. 

Dr. Solander, who was to-day in a cove different from 
that I was in, saw the natives catch many lobsters in a very 
simple manner ; they walked among the rocks at low water, 
about waist-deep in water, and moved their feet about till 
they felt one, on which they dived down, and constantly 
brought him up. I do not know whether I have before 
mentioned these lobsters, but we have had them in tolerable 
plenty in almost every place we have been in, and they are 
certainly the largest and best I have ever eaten. 

20th. We had yesterday resolved to employ this day in 
examining a bay we saw, so at daybreak we set out in the 
boats. A fresh breeze of wind soon carried us to the 
bottom of the bay, where we found a very fine river, broad 
as the Thames at Greenwich, though not quite so deep ; 
there was, however, water enough for vessels of more than a 
middling size, and a bottom of mud so soft that nothing 
could possibly take damage by running ashore. 

About a mile up this was an Indian town built upon a 
small bank of dry sand, but totally surrounded by deep mud, 
so much so that I believe they had purposely built it there 
as a defence. The people came out in flocks upon the banks, 


inviting us in ; they had heard of us from our last friends. 
We landed, and while we stayed they were most perfectly 
civil, as indeed they have always been where we were 
known, but never where we were not. We proceeded up 
the river and soon met with another town with but few 
inhabitants. Above this the banks were completely clothed 
with the finest timber l my eyes ever beheld, of a tree we had 
before seen, but only at a distance, in Poverty Bay and 
Hawke's Bay. Thick 'woods of it were everywhere upon the 
banks, every tree as straight as a pine, and of immense size, 
and the higher we went the more numerous they were. 
About two leagues from the mouth we stopped and went 
ashore. Our first business was to measure one of these trees. 
The woods were swampy, so we could not range far ; we 
found one, however, by no means the largest we had seen, 
which was 19 feet 8 inches 2 in circumference, and 89 
feet in height without a branch. But what was most re- 
markable was that it, as well as many more that we saw, 
carried its thickness so truly up to the very top, that I dare 
venture to affirm that the top, where the lowest branch took 
its rise, was not a foot less in diameter than where we 
measured it, which was about 8 feet from the ground. We 
cut down a young one of these trees ; the wood proved heavy 
and solid, too much so for masts, but it would make the 
finest plank in the world, and might possibly by some art 
be made light enough for masts, as the pitch-pine in America 
(to which our carpenter likened this timber) is said to be 
lightened by tapping. 

Up to this point the river has kept its depth and very 
little decreased in breadth ; the captain was so much pleased 
with it that he resolved to call it the Thames. It was now 
time for us to return ; the tide turning downwards gave us 
warning, so away we went, and got out of the river into the 
bay before it was dark. We rowed for the ship as fast as we 

1 Podocarpus dacrydioides, A. Cunn. 

2 The dimensions were left blank in Banks's Journal. In Wharton's Cook, p. 
159, it is stated to be 19 feet 8 inches at 6 feet above the ground, and its 
length from the root to the first branch 89 feet ; and it tapered so little that 
Cook judged it to contain 356 feet of solid timber, clear of the branches. 


could, but night overtook us before we could get within 
some miles of her. It blew fresh with showers of rain. 
In this situation we rowed until nearly twelve, and then 
gave over, and running under the land came to a grappling, 
and all went to sleep as well as we could. 

21st. Before daybreak we set out again. It still blew 
fresh with mizzling rain and fog, so that it was an hour 
after day before we got a sight of the ship. However, 
we made shift to get on board by seven, tired enough ; 
and lucky for us it was we did, for before nine it blew a 
fresh gale, so that our boat could not have rowed ahead, 
and, had we been out, we must have either gone ashore or 
sheltered ourselves. Before evening, however, it moderated, 
so that we got under way with the ebb, but did little or 


Nov. 22, 1769 MARCH 30, 1770 

Tattowing Thieving of the natives Cannibalism Rapid healing of shot- 
wounds Native seines Paper mulberry Native accounts of their 
ancestors' expedition to other countries Three Kings Islands Christmas 
Day Albatross swimming Mount Egmont Murderers' Bay Queen 
Charlotte's Sound Threats of natives Corpses thrown into the sea 
Cannibalism Singing-birds Fishing-nets Human head preserved 
Discovery of Cook's Straits Native names for New Zealand, and tradi- 
tions Courteous native family Leave Queen Charlotte's Sound Tides 

Cape Turnagain Coast along the southern island Banks' Peninsula 

Appearance of minerals Mountains along the west coast Anchor in 
Admiralty Bay. 

. Two large canoes came from a distance; the people 
in them were numerous and appeared rich ; the canoes were 
well carved and ornamented, and they had with them many 
patoo-patoos of stone and whale-bone which they value very 
much. They had also ribs of whales, of which we had often 
seen imitations in wood carved and ornamented with tufts 
of dog's hair. The people themselves were browner than 
those to the southward, as indeed they have been ever since 
we came to Opoorage, as this part is called, and they had a 
much larger quantity of amoca or black stains upon their 
bodies and faces. They had almost universally a broad 
spiral on each buttock, and many had their thighs almost 
entirely black, small lines only being left untouched, so that 
they looked like striped breeches. In this particular, I 
mean the use of amoca, almost every tribe seems to have a 
different custom ; we have on some days seen canoes where 


every man was almost covered with it, and at the same time 
others where scarcely a man had a spot, except on his lips, 
which seems to be always essential. 

These people would not part with any of their arms, etc., 
for any price we could offer. At last, however, one produced 
an axe of talc and offered it for cloth ; it was given, and the 
canoe immediately put off with it ; a musket ball was fired 
over their heads, on which they immediately came back and 
returned the cloth, but soon after put off and went ashore. 

In the afternoon other canoes came off, and through some 
inattention of the officers were suffered to cheat, unpunished 
and unfrightened ; this put one of the midshipmen who had 
suffered upon a droll, though rather mischievous, revenge. 
He got a fishing-line, and when the canoe was close to the 
ship hove the lead at the man who had cheated him with 
such good success that he fastened the hook into his back, 
on which he pulled with all his might ; the Indian kept 
back, so that the hook soon broke in the shank, leaving its 
beard in the man, no very agreeable legacy. 

30th. Several canoes came off to the ship very early, but 
sold little or nothing ; indeed, no merchandise that we can 
show them seems to take with them. Our island cloth, 
which used to be so much esteemed, has now entirely lost 
its value. The natives have for some days past told us 
that they have some of it ashore, and showed us small 
pieces in their ears, which they said was of their own 
manufacture. This accounts for their having been once so 
fond of it, and now setting so little value upon it. Towards 
noon, however, they sold us a little dried fish for paper, 
chiefly, or very white Indian cloth. 

In the evening we went ashore upon the continent. 
The people received us very civilly, and were as tame as we 
could wish. One general observation I here set down : they 
always, after one night's consideration, have acknowledged 
our superiority, but hardly ever before. I have often seen 
a man, when his nearest companion was wounded or killed 
by our shot, not give himself the trouble to inquire how or 
by what means he was hurt. When they attack they work 


themselves up into a kind of artificial courage, which does 
not allow them time to think much. 

1st December. It is now some time since I mentioned their 
custom of eating human flesh, as I had been for a long time 
loth to believe that any human beings could have among them 
so brutal a custom. I am now, however, convinced, and shall 
here give a short account of what we have heard from the 
Indians concerning it. 

At Taoneroa, where we first landed, the boys whom we 
had on board mentioned it of their own accord, asking 
whether the meat they ate was not human flesh, as they 
had no idea of any animal so large, except a man, till they 
saw our sheep. They, however, seemed ashamed of the 
custom, saying that the tribe to which they belonged did 
not use it, but that another living very near them did. Since 
then we have never failed to ask the question, and we have 
without one exception been answered in the affirmative. 
Several times, as at Tolago and here, the people have put 
themselves into a heat by defending the custom, which 
Tupia, who had never before heard of such a thing, takes 
every occasion to speak ill of, exhorting them often to 
leave it off. They, however, universally agree that they eat 
none but the bodies of those of their enemies who are 
killed in war ; all others are buried. 

3rd. Many canoes visited us in the morning; one very 
large carrying eighty-two people. Dr. Solander and myself 
went ashore ; we found few plants, and saw but few people, 
but they were perfectly civil. We went on their invitation 
to their little town, which was situated at the bottom of a 
cove, without the least defence. One of the old men here 
showed us the instrument with which they stain their 
bodies; it was exactly like that used at Otahite. We 
saw also here a man who had been shot on the 29th while 
attempting to steal our buoy. The ball had gone through 
the fleshy part of his arm and grazed his breast. The wound 
was open to the air, without the smallest application upon 
it, yet it had as good an appearance, and seemed to give 
him as little pain as if it had had the very best dressing 


possible. We gave him a musket ball, and with a little 
talking he seemed to be fully sensible of the escape he 
had had. 

In the evening we went ashore on another island where 
were many more people, who lived in the same peaceable 
style, and had very large plantations of sweet potatoes, yams, 
etc., about their village. They received us much as our 
friends in the morning had done, and, like them, showed much 
satisfaction at the little presents of necklaces, etc., which 
were given to them. 

&th. "We went ashore at a large Indian fort or heppah. 
A great number of people immediately crowded about us, 
and sold almost a boat-load of fish in a very short time. 
They then showed us their plantations, which were very 
large, of yams, cocos, and sweet potatoes : and after 
having a little laugh at our seine, a common king's seine, 
showed us one of theirs, which was five fathoms deep. Its 
length we could only guess, as it was not stretched out, 
but it could not from its bulk be less than four or five 
hundred fathoms. Fishing seems to be the chief business 
of this part of the country. About all their towns are 
abundance of nets laid upon small heaps like haycocks, and 
thatched over, and almost every house you go into has nets 
in process of making. 

After this they showed us a great rarity, six plants of 
what they called aouta, from whence they make cloth like 
that of Otahite. The plant proved exactly the same, as 
the name is the same, Morus papyrifera, Linn, (the Paper 
Mulberry). The same plant is used by the Chinese to 
make paper. Whether the climate does not well agree with 
it I do not know, but they seemed to value it very much ; 
that it was very scarce among them I am inclined to be- 
lieve, as we have not yet seen among them pieces large 
enough for any use, but only bits sticking into the holes of 
their ears. 

Qth. Many canoes came off, and Tupia inquired about 
the country : they told him that at the distance of three 
days' rowing in their canoes, at a place called Moore- 


whennua, the land would turn to the southward, and from 
thence extend no more to the west. This place we con- 
cluded must be Cape Maria Van Diemen; and finding 
these people so intelligent, desired Tupia to inquire if 
they knew of any countries besides this, or ever went to 
any. They said no, but that their ancestors had told them that 
to the KW. by 1ST. or KKW. was a large country to which 
some people had sailed in a very large canoe, which passage 
took them a month. From the expedition a part only 
returned, who told their countrymen that they had seen a 
country where the people eat hogs, for which animal they 
used the same name (Booah) as is used in the islands. 
" And have you no hogs among you ? " said Tupia. " No." 
" And did your ancestors bring none back with them ? " 
" No." " You must be a parcel of liars then," said he, 
" and your story a great lie, for your ancestors would never 
have been such fools as to come back without them." Thus 
much as a specimen of Indian reasoning. 

10th. This morning we were near the land, which was 
quite barren, hills beyond hills, and ridges even far inland 
were covered with white sand on which no kind of vegetable 
was to be seen. It was conjectured by some that the land 
here might be very narrow, and that the westerly wind blew 
the sand right across it. Some Indian forts or heppahs 
were seen. 

~L8th. On a rock pretty near us we saw through our 
glasses an Indian fort, which we all thought was encircled 
with a mud wall ; if so, it is the only one of the kind we 
have seen. 

24:th. Land in sight: an island, or rather several small 
ones, most probably the Three Kings, so that it was con- 
jectured that we had passed the cape, which had so long 
troubled us. From a boat I killed several gannets or solan 
geese, so like European ones that they are hardly dis- 
tinguishable from them. As it was the humour of the ship 
to keep Christmas in the old-fashioned way, it was resolved 
to make a goose-pie for to-morrow's dinner. 

25th. Christmas Day: our goose-pie was eaten with 


great approbation ; and in the evening all hands were as 
drunk as our forefathers used to be upon like occasions. 

1st January 1770. The new year began with more 
moderate weather than the old one ended with, but wind 
as foul as ever : we ventured to go a little nearer the 
land, which appeared on this side the cape much as it had 
done on the other, almost entirely occupied by vast sands. 
Our surveyors suppose the cape to be shaped like a shoulder 
of mutton with the knuckle placed inwards, where they say 
that the land cannot be above two or three miles across, 
and that most probably in high winds the sea washes quite 
over the sands, which here are low. 

Qth. Calm to day. Shot Procellaria longipes, P. velox, and 
Diomedea exulans (the albatross). I had an opportunity 
of seeing this last sit upon the water ; and as it is commonly 
said by seamen that they cannot in a calm rise upon the 
wing, I tried the experiment. There were two of them. 
One I shot dead : the other, which was near it, swam off 
nearly as fast as my small boat could row. "We gave chase 
and gained a little ; the bird attempted to fly by trying to 
take off from a falling wave, but did not succeed : I who 
was so far off that I knew I could not hurt him, fired at 
him to make his attempts more vigorous, this had the 
desired result, for at the third effort he got upon the wing, 
though I believe that had it not been for a little swell upon 
the water he could not have done it. 

10th. The country we passed by appeared fertile, more 
so, I think, than any part of this country that I have seen ; 
rising in gentle slopes not over well wooded, but what trees 
there were, were well grown. Few signs of inhabitants 
were seen : one fire and a very few houses. 

About noon we passed between the main and a small 
island or rock, which seemed almost totally covered with 
birds, probably gannets. Towards evening a very high hill 
was in sight, but very distant. 

12th. This morning we were abreast of the great hill, 1 
but it was wrapped in clouds, and remained so the whole 

1 Mount Egmont. 


day ; it is probably very high, as a part of its side, which 
was for a moment seen, was covered with snow. The country 
beyond it appeared very pleasant and fertile, the sides of 
the hills sloping gradually. With our glasses we could dis- 
tinguish many white lumps in companies, fifty or sixty 
together, which were probably stones or tufts of grass, but 
bore much resemblance to flocks of sheep: 1 at night a 
small fire, which burned about half an hour, made us sure 
that there were inhabitants, of whom we had seen no signs 
since the 10th. 

1 3th. This morning, soon after daybreak, we had a 
momentary view of our great hill, the top of which was 
thickly covered with snow, though this month answers to 
July in England. How high it may be I do not take upon 
me to judge, but it is certainly the noblest hill I have ever 
seen, and it appears to the utmost advantage, rising from 
the sea without another hill in its neighbourhood one-fourth 
of its height. 

14th. In a large bay, called in the draughts Murderers' 
Bay ; the appearance of a harbour just ahead made us 
resolve to anchor in the morning. 

1 5th. In the course of last night we were driven to the 
eastward more than we had any reason to expect, so much 
that we found ourselves in the morning past the harbour we 
intended to go into. Another, however, was in sight, into 
which we went. 2 The land on both sides appeared most 
miserably barren, till we got some way up the harbour, 
when it began to mend gradually. Here we saw some 
canoes, which, instead of coming towards us, went to an 
Indian town or fort built upon an island nearly in the 
middle of the passage, which appeared crowded with people, 
as if they had flocked to it from all parts. As the ship 
approached it they waved to us as if inviting us to come to 
them, but the moment we had passed, they set up a loud 
shout, and every man brandished his weapons. 

1 Clumps of the remarkable Composite plant Eaoulia mammillaris, Hook, f., 
or an allied species, called "vegetable sheep" in New Zealand. 

2 Ship's Cove, Queen Charlotte's Sound. 



The country about us now was very fertile to appearance, 
and well wooded, so we came to anchor about a long cannon 
shot from the fort, from whence four canoes were immediately 
despatched to reconnoitre, I suppose, and, if might be, to 
take us, as they were all well armed. The men in these 
boats were dressed much as they are represented in Tasman's 
figure, that is, two corners of the cloth they wore were 
passed over their shoulders and fastened to the rest of it 
just below their breasts ; but few or none had feathers in 
their hair. They rowed round and round the ship, defying 
and threatening us as usual, and at last hove some stones 
aboard, which we all expected to be a prelude of some 
behaviour which would oblige us to fire upon them; but 
just at this time a very old man in one of the boats ex- 
pressed a desire of coming on board, which we immediately 
encouraged him to do, and threw a rope into his canoe, by 
which he was immediately hauled up alongside, contrary to 
the desire of all the other Indians, who went so far as to 
hold him fast for some tune. We received him in as 
friendly a manner as possible, and gave him many presents, 
with which he returned to the canoes, who immediately 
joined in a war dance, whether to show their enmity or 
friendship it is impossible to say. We have so often seen 
them do it upon both occasions. 

After this they retired to their town, and we went 
ashore abreast of the ship, where we found good wood and 
water, and caught more fish in the seine than all our people 
could possibly consume, besides shooting a multitude of shags. 
The country, however, did not answer so well to Dr. 
Solander and myself as to the ship, as we found only two 
new plants in the whole evening. 

16th. The women and some of the men wore an article 
of dress which we had not before seen, a round bunch of 
black feathers tied upon the tops of their heads, which it 
entirely covered, making them look twice as large as they 
really were. On seeing this, my judgment paid an involun- 
tary compliment to my fair English countrywomen, for, led 
astray by the head-dress, which in some measure resembles 


the high foretops in England, I was forward to declare it 
as my opinion that these were much the handsomest women 
we had seen upon the coast ; but upon their near approach I 
was convinced that nothing but the head-dress had misled 
me, as I saw not one who was even tolerably handsome. 

After dinner we went in the boat towards a cove about 
two miles from the ship. As we rowed along, some- 
thing was seen floating upon the water, which we took to be 
a dead seal. It proved, to our great surprise, to be the body 
of a woman, who seemed to have been dead some time. We 
left it, and proceeded to our cove, where we found a small 
family of Indians, who were a little afraid of us, as they all 
ran away but one. They soon, however, returned except an 
old man and a child, who stayed in the woods, but not out 
of sight of us. Of these people we inquired about the body 
we had seen. They told Tupia that the woman was a 
relation of theirs, and that instead of burying their dead, 
their custom was to tie a stone to them, and throw them 
into the sea, which stone they suppose to have been un- 
loosened by some accident. 

The family were employed, when we came ashore, in 
dressing their provisions, which were a dog, at that time 
buried in their oven. Near by were many provision baskets. 
Looking carelessly upon one of these, we by accident observed 
two bones pretty cleanly picked, which, as appeared upon 
examination, were undoubtedly human bones. 

Though we had from the beginning constantly heard the 
Indians acknowledge the custom of eating their enemies, we 
had never before had a proof of it, but this amounted almost 
to demonstration. The bones were clearly human ; upon 
them were evident marks of their having been dressed on 
the fire ; the meat was not entirely picked off them, and 
on the gristly ends, which were gnawed, were evident marks 
of teeth ; and they were accidentally found in a provision 
basket. On asking the people what bones they were, they 
answered : " The bones of a man." " And have you eaten 
the flesh ?" " Yes." " Have you none of it left ? " " No." 
" Why did you not eat the woman whom we saw to-day in 


the water?" "She was our relation." "Whom, then, do 
you eat ? " " Those who are killed in war." " And who 
was the man whose bones these are?" "Five days ago a 
boat of our enemies came into this bay, and of them we 
killed seven, of whom the owner of these bones was one." 
The horror that appeared in the countenances of the seamen 
on hearing this discourse, which was immediately trans- 
lated for the good of the company, is better conceived than 
described. For ourselves, and myself in particular, we were 
too well convinced of the existence of such a custom to be 
surprised, though we were pleased at having so strong a 
proof of a custom which human nature holds in too great 
abhorrence to give easy credit to. 

Vlih. I was awakened by the singing of the birds ashore, 
from whence we are distant not a quarter of a mile. Their 
numbers were certainly very great. They seemed to strain 
their throats with emulation, and made, perhaps, the most 
melodious wild music I have ever heard, almost imitating 
small bells, but with the most tunable silver sound imagin- 
able, to which, maybe, the distance was no small addition. 
On inquiring of our people, I was told that they had 
observed them ever since we had been here, and that they 
begin to sing about one or two in the morning, and continue 
till sunrise, after which they are silent all day, like our 

1 8th. Among other things that the Indians told us 
yesterday, one was that they expected their enemies to come 
and revenge the death of the seven men, and some of our 
people thought that they had intelligence of their coming 
to-day, which made us observe the Indian town, where the 
people seemed more quiet than usual, not attending to their 
usual occupations of fishing, etc. No canoe attempted to 
come near the ship. 

After breakfast we went in the pinnace to explore some 
parts of the bay, which we had not seen, as it was immensely 
large, or, rather, consisted of numberless small harbours, 
coves, etc. We found the country on our side of the bay 
very well wooded everywhere, but on the opposite side very 

JAN. 1770 FISHING 213 

bare. In turning a point, we saw a man in a small canoe 
fishing, who, to our surprise, showed not the least fear of us. 
We went to him, and at our request he took up his nets, 
and showed us his implement, which was a circular net 
about seven or eight feet in diameter, extended by two 
hoops. The top of this was open, and to the bottom were 
tied sea-ears, etc., as bait : this he let down upon the 
ground, and when he thought that fish enough were assembled 
over it, he lifted it up by a very gentle and even motion, 
so that the fish were hardly sensible of being lifted till they 
were almost out of the water. By this simple method he 
had caught abundance of fish, and I believe it is the general 
way of fishing all over this coast, as many such nets have 
been seen at almost every place we have been in. In this 
bay, indeed, fish were so plentiful that it is hardly possible 
not to catch abundance by whatever method is adopted. 

20th. Our old man came this morning with the heads 
of four people, which were preserved with the flesh and hair 
on, and kept I suppose as trophies, as possibly scalps were 
by the North Americans before the Europeans came among 
them. The brains were, however, taken out ; maybe they 
are a delicacy here. The flesh and skin upon these heads 
were soft ; but they were somehow preserved so as not to 
stink at all. 

The bay, wherever we have yet been, is very hilly ; 
we have hardly seen a flat large enough for a potato 
garden. Our friends here do not seem to feel the want of 
such places ; as we have not seen the least appearance of 
cultivation, I suppose they live entirely upon fish, dogs, and 

22nd. Made an excursion to-day in the pinnace, in order 
to see more of the bay. While Dr. Solander and I were 
botanising, the captain went to the top of a hill, and in 
about an hour returned in high spirits, having seen the 
eastern sea, and satisfied himself of the existence of a strait 
communicating with it, the idea of which has occurred to us 
all, from Tasman's as well as our own observations. 

23rd. Mr. Monkhouse told me that on the 21st he had 


been ashore at a spot where were many deserted Indian 
houses : here he had seen several things tied up to the 
branches of trees, particularly human hair, which he brought 
away with him, enough to have made a sizable wig. This 
induced him to think that the place was consecrated to 
religious purposes ; possibly it was, as they certainly have 
such places among them, though I have not yet been lucky 
enough to meet with them. 

24dh. Went to-day to the heppah or town, to see our 
friends the Indians, who received us with much confidence 
and civility, and showed us every part of their habitations, 
which were neat enough. The town was situated upon a 
small island or rock separated from the main by a breach in 
the rock, so small that a man might almost jump over it ; 
the sides were everywhere so steep as to render fortifications, 
even in their fashion, almost totally unnecessary ; accordingly 
there was nothing but a slight palisade, and one small fight- 
ing stage at one end where the rock was most accessible. 
The people brought us several bones of men, the flesh of 
which they had eaten. These are now become a kind of 
article of trade among our people, who constantly ask for 
and purchase them for whatever trifles they have. In one 
part we observed a kind of wooden cross ornamented with 
feathers, made exactly in the form of a crucifix. This 
engaged our attention, and we were told that it was a 
monument to a dead man ; maybe a cenotaph, as the body 
was not there. This much they told us, but would not let 
us know where the body was. 

25th. Dr. Solander and I (who have now nearly ex- 
hausted all the plants in our neighbourhood) went to-day 
to search for mosses and small things, in which we had 
great success, gathering several very remarkable ones. In 
the evening we went out in the pinnace, and fell in with a 
large family of Indians, who have now begun to disperse 
themselves, as is, I believe, their custom, into the different 
creeks and coves where fish are most plentiful. A few only 
remain in the heppah, to which they all fly in times of 
danger. These people came a good way to meet us at a 


place where we were shooting shags, and invited us to join 
the rest of them, twenty or thirty in number, men, women, 
and children, dogs, etc. We went, and were received with 
all possible demonstrations of friendship, if the numberless 
hugs and kisses we got from both sexes, old and young, in 
return for our ribbons and beads may be accounted such. 

2Qth. Went to-day to take another view of our new 
straits, 1 as the captain was not quite sure of the westernmost 
end. We found a hill in a tolerably convenient situation, 
and climbing it, saw the strait quite open, and four or five 
leagues wide. We then erected a small monument of stone, 
such as five stout men could do in half an hour, and laid in 
it musket balls, beads, shot, etc., so that if perchance any 
Europeans should find and pull it down, they will be sure 
it is not of Indian workmanship. 

5th February. Our old man, Topaa, was on board, and 
Tupia asked him many questions concerning the land, etc. 
His answers were nearly as follows : " That the straits 
we had seen from the hills were a passage into the 
eastern sea ; that the land to the south consisted of two or 
several islands round which their canoes might sail in three 
or four days ; that he knew of no other great land than 
that we had been upon (Aehie no Mauwe), of which Tera 
Whitte was the southern part ; that he believed his ancestors 
were not born there, but came originally from Heawije " 
(from whence Tupia and the islanders also derive their 
origin), "which lay to the northwards where were many lands; 
that neither himself, his father, nor his grandfather had ever 
heard of ships as large as this being here before, but that 
they have a tradition of two large vessels, much larger than 
theirs, which some time or other came here, and were totally 
destroyed by the inhabitants, and all the people belonging 
to them killed." 

This last Tupia says is a very old tradition, much older 

1 Cook's Straits. 

2 The Maoris are by some authorities supposed to have originally come 
from Hawaii, the direction of which agrees very fairly with that given by the 
natives to Banks. The Sandwich Islands really lie N.N.E. from New 


than his great-grandfather, and relates to two large canoes 
which came from Olimaroa, one of the islands he has 
mentioned. Whether he is right, or whether this is a 
tradition of Tasman's ships (which they could not well 
compare with their own by tradition, and which their 
warlike ancestors had told them they had destroyed), is 
difficult to say. Tupia has all along warned us not to put 
too much faith in anything these people tell us, " for," says 
he, " they are given to lying ; they told you that one of 
their people was killed by a musket and buried, which was 
absolutely false." 

The doctor and I went ashore to-day, and fell in by 
accident with the most agreeable Indian family we had 
seen upon the coast, indeed the only one in which we 
have observed any order or subordination. It consisted of 
seventeen people ; the head of it was a pretty boy of about 
ten years old, who, they told us, was the owner of the land 
about where we wooded. This is the only instance of 
property we have met with among these people. He and 
his mother (who mourned for her husband with tears of 
blood, according to their custom) sat upon mats, the rest sat 
round them : houses they had none, nor did they attempt 
to make for themselves any shelter against the inclemencies 
of the weather, which I suppose they by custom very easily 
endure. Their whole behaviour was so affable, obliging, and 
unsuspicious, that I should certainly have accepted their 
invitation to stay the night with them, were not the ship to 
sail in the morning. Most unlucky shall I always esteem it 
that we did not sooner make acquaintance with these people, 
from whom we might have learnt more in a day of their 
manners and dispositions than from all we have yet seen. 

Qth. Foul wind continued, but we contrived to get into 
the straits, which are to be called Cook's Straits. Here we 
were becalmed, and almost imperceptibly drawn by the tide 
near the land. The lead was dropped, and gave seventy 
fathoms ; soon after we saw an appearance like breakers, 
towards which we drove fast. It was now sunset, and 
night came on apace ; the ship drove into the rough water, 


which proved to be a strong tide, and which set her directly 
upon a rock. We had approached very near to this when 
the anchor was dropped, and she was brought up about 
a cable's length from it. We were now sensible of the 
force of the tide, which roared like a mill-stream, and ran 
at four knots at least when it flowed the fastest, for the 
rate varied much. It ran in this manner till twelve o'clock, 
when, with the slack water, we got up the anchor with 
great difficulty, and a light breeze from the northward soon 
cleared us from our dangers. 

8^. As some of the officers declared last night that they 
thought it probable that the land we have been round might 
communicate by an isthmus situated somewhere .between 
where we now are and Cape Turnagain (though the whole 
distance is estimated at no more than ninety miles), the 
captain resolved to stand to the northward till he should 
see that cape, which was accordingly done. 

Three canoes put off from the shore, and with very little 
invitation came on board. The people appeared richer and 
more cleanly than any we have seen since we were in the 
Bay of Islands ; their canoes also were ornamented in the 
same manner as those we had formerly seen in the north of 
the island. They were always more civil in their behaviour, 
and on having presents made them, immediately made 
presents to us in return (an instance we have not before met 
with in this island). All these things inclined me to 
believe that we were again come to the dominions of Teratu. 
but on asking they said that he was not their king. 

9th. By eleven o'clock Cape Turnagain was in sight, 
which convinced everybody that the land was really an 
island, on which we once more turned the ship's head to 
the southward. 

~L4th. I had two or three opportunities this evening of 
seeing albatrosses rise from the water, which they did with 
great ease ; maybe they are not able to do so (as I have 
seen) when they are gorged with food. 

This morning we were close to a new island l which 

1 Banks' Peninsula : it is not an island. 


made in ridges not unlike the South Sea Islands (between 
the tropics) ; the tops of these were bare, but in the valleys 
was plenty of wood. 

23rd. As we have now been four days upon nearly the 
same part of the coast without seeing any signs of inhabit- 
ants, I think there is no doubt that this part at least is 
without inhabitants. 

In the evening the land l inclined a good deal to the west. 
We on board were now of two parties, one who wished that 
the land in sight might, the other that it might not, be a 
continent. I myself have always been most firm in the 
former wish, though sorry I am to say that my party is so 
small, that I firmly believe that there are none more heartily 
of it than myself and one poor midshipman : the rest begin 
to sigh for roast beef. 

4:th March. A large smoke was seen, and proved to be an 
immense fire on the side of a hill which we supposed to 
have been set on fire by the natives, for though this is the 
only sign of people we have seen, yet I think it must be 
an indisputable proof that there are inhabitants, though 
probably very thinly scattered over the face of this very 
large country. 

9th. The land 2 appeared barren, and seemed to end in a 
point to which the hills gradually declined, much to the regret 
of us continent-mongers, who could not help thinking that 
the great swell from the south-west and the broken ground 
without it were a pretty sure mark of some remarkable cape 
being here. By noon we were near the land, which was 
uncommonly barren ; the few flat places we saw seemingly 
produced little or nothing, and the rest was all bare rocks 
which were amazingly full of large veins, and patches of 
some mineral that shone as if it had been polished, or 
rather looked as if the rocks were really paved with glass ; 
what it was I could not at all guess, but it was certainly 
some mineral, and seemed to argue by its immense abundance 
a country abounding in minerals, where, if one may judge 

1 Near Otago Harbour. 
2 Stewart Island, which was supposed to be a peninsula. 


from the corresponding latitudes of South America, in all 
human probability something very valuable might be found. 

10th. Blew fresh all day: we were carried round the 
point, to the total destruction of our aerial fabric called 

1 3th. The rocks were very large, and had veins in them 
filled with a whitish appearance different from what we saw 
on the 9th. The sides of the hills appeared well wooded, 
and the country in general as fertile as in so hilly a country 
could be expected, but without the least signs of inhabitants. 

I4:tk. Stood along shore with a fine breeze, and passed 
three or four places which had much the appearance of 
harbours, much to my regret, as I wished to examine the 
mineral appearance from which I had formed great hopes. 1 
The country rose immediately from the sea-side in steep hills, 
tolerably covered with wood ; behind these was another ridge 
covered in many places with snow, which, from its pure white- 
ness and smoothness in the morning, and the many cracks 
and intervals that appeared among it at night, we conjectured 
to be newly fallen. 

~L5th. The country to-day appeared covered with steep 
hills, whose sides were but ill wooded, but on their tops 
were large quantities of snow, especially on the sides looking 
towards the south. We imagined that about noon we passed 
by some considerable river ; the sea was almost covered with 
leaves, small twigs, and blades of grass. 

IQtk. Much snow on the ridges of the high hills; two 
were, however, seen on which was little or none, whatever 
the cause of it might be I could not guess. They were quite 
bare of trees or any kind of vegetables, and seemed to con- 
sist of a mouldering soft stone of the colour of brick or light 
red ochre. About noon the country near the sea changed 
much for the better, appearing in broad valleys clothed with 
prodigious fine woods, out of which came many fine streams 
of water ; but, notwithstanding the beauty of the country, 
there was not the smallest sign of inhabitants, nor, indeed, 

1 Tin abounds in Stewart Island, but Banks's observations are no evidence 
of its presence. 


have we seen any since we made this land, except the fire 
on the 4th. 

18th. Immense quantities of snow newly fallen on the 
hills were by noon plainly seen to begin to melt. 

21st. At night saw a phenomenon which I have but 
seldom seen ; at sunset the flying clouds were of almost all 
colours, among which green was very conspicuous, though 
rather faint. 

24:th. Just turned the most westerly point, 1 and stood 
into the mouth of the straits. 

26th. At night came to an anchor in a bay, 2 in some 
part of which it is probable that Tasman anchored. 

30th. I examined the stones which lay on the beach: 
they showed evident signs of mineral tendency, being full 
of veins, but I had not the fortune to discover any ore of 
metal (at least that I know to be so) in them. As the 
place we lay in had no bare rocks in its neighbourhood, this 
was the only method I had of even conjecturing. 

1 Cape Farewell. 

2 Admiralty Bay : Tasman anchored in Blind or Tasman's Bay, and the 
massacre of three of his crew is supposed to have taken place in a small bay 
on its north-west side. Wharton's Cook, p. 214, note. 



Its discovery by Tasman Mountains Harbours Cultivation Trees Suita- 
bility of Thames River for colonisation Climate Absence of native 
quadrupeds Birds Insects Fish Plants Native and introduced 
vegetables Absence of fruits New Zealand flax Population Qualities 
of the natives Tattowing and painting Dress Head-dresses Ear- and 
nose-ornaments Houses Food Cannibalism amongst men Freedom 
from disease Canoes Carving Tools Cloth fabrics Nets Tillage 
Weapons Spontoons War and other songs Human trophies Heppahs 
Chiefs Religion Burial Language. 

As we intend to leave this place to-morrow, I shall spend 
a few sheets in drawing together what I have observed of 
the country and of its inhabitants, premising that in this, 
and in all other descriptions of the same kind which may 
occur in this journal, I shall give myself liberty to conjecture, 
and draw conclusions from what I have observed. In these 
I may doubtless be mistaken ; in the daily Journal, however, 
the observations may be seen, and any one who refers to 
that may draw his own conclusions from them, attending as 
little as he pleases to any of mine. 

This country was first discovered by Abel Jansen Tasman 
on the 13th of December 1642, and called by him New 
Zealand. He, however, never went ashore on it, probably 
from fear of the natives, who, when he had come to an 
anchor, set upon one of his boats and killed three or four 
out of the seven people in her. 

Tasman certainly was an able navigator ; he sailed into 
the mouth of Cook's Straits, and finding himself surrounded, to 
all appearance, by land, observed the flood tide to come from 


the south-east ; from thence he conjectured that there was in 
that place a passage through the land, which conjecture we 
proved to be true, as he himself had certainly done, had 
not the wind changed as he thought in his favour, giving him 
an opportunity of returning the way he came in, which he 
preferred to standing into a bay with an on-shore wind, 
upon the strength of conjecture only. Again, when he came 
the length of Cape Maria Van Diemen he observed hollow 
waves to come from the north-east, from whence he concluded 
it to be the northernmost part of the land, which we really 
found it to be. Lastly, to his eternal credit be it spoken, 
although he had been four months absent from Batavia 
when he made this land, and had sailed both west and east, 
his longitude (allowing for an error in that of Batavia, as he 
has himself stated it) differs no more than l from ours, 

which is corrected by an innumerable number of observa- 
tions of the moon and sun, etc., as well as of a transit of 
Mercury over the sun, all calculated and observed by Mr. 
Green, a mathematician of well-known abilities, who was 
sent out in this ship by the Royal Society to observe the 
transit of Venus. Thus much for Tasman ; it were too much 
to be wished, however, that we had a fuller account of his 
voyage than that published by Dirk Eembrantz, which seems 
to be no more than a short extract, and that other navigators 
would imitate him in mentioning the supposed latitudes and 
longitudes of the places from whence they take their de- 
partures ; which precaution, useful as it is, may almost be 
said to have been used by Tasman alone. 

The face of the country is in general mountainous, 
especially inland, where probably runs a chain of very high 
hills, parts of which we saw at several times. They were 
generally covered with snow, and certainly very high ; some 
of our officers, men of experience, did not scruple to say as 

1 Left blank in Banks's Journal. The following note was appended by 
Banks at the end of the chapter : 

Though Tasman's longitude of Cape Maria Van Diemen comes near the 
truth, our seamen affirm, and seem to make it appear, that he erred no less 
than 4 49' in running from the first land he made to Cape Maria Van Diemen ; 
if so, his exactness must be attributed more to chance than skill. 


much as the Peak of Teneriffe : in that particular, however, I 
cannot quite agree with them, though that they must be 
very high is proved by the hill to the northward of Cook's 
Straits, which was seen, and made no inconsiderable figure, at 
the distance of many leagues. 

The sea coast, should it ever be examined, will probably 
be found to abound in good harbours. We saw several, of 
which the Bay of Islands, or Motuaro, and Queen Charlotte's 
Sound, or Totarra-nue, are as good as any which seamen 
need desire to come into, either for good anchorage or for 
convenience of wooding and watering. The outer ridge of 
land which is open to the sea is (as I believe is the case of 
most countries) generally barren, especially to the southward, 
but within that the hills are covered with thick woods quite 
to the top, and every valley produces a rivulet of water. 

The soil is in general light, and consequently admirably 
adapted to the uses for which the natives cultivate it, their 
crops consisting entirely of roots. On the southern and 
western sides it is the most barren, the sea being generally 
bounded either by steep hills or vast tracts of sand, which 
is probably the reason why the people in these parts were 
so much less numerous, and lived almost entirely upon fish. 
The northern and eastern shores make, however, some 
amends for the barrenness of the others ; on them we often 
saw very large tracts of ground, which either actually were, 
or very lately had been, cultivated, and immense areas of 
woodland which were yet uncleared, but promised great re- 
turns to the people who would take the trouble of clearing 
them. Taoneroa,or Poverty Bay, and Tolago especially, besides 
swamps which might doubtless easily be drained, sufficiently 
evinced the richness of their soil by the great size of all the 
plants that grew upon them, and more especially of the 
timber trees, which were the straightest, cleanest, and I may 
say the largest I have ever seen, at least speaking of them 
in the gross. I may have seen several times single trees 
larger than any I observed among these; but it was not 
one, but all these trees, which were enormous, and doubtless 
had we had time and opportunity to search, we might have 


found larger ones than any we saw, as we were never but 
once ashore among them, and that only for a short time on 
the banks of the river Thames, where we rowed for many 
miles between woods of these trees, to which we could see 
no bounds. The river Thames is indeed, in every respect, 
the most proper place we have yet seen for establishing a 
colony. 1 A ship as large as ours might be carried several 
miles up the river, where she could be moored to the trees 
as safely as alongside a wharf in London river, a safe and 
sure retreat in case of an attack from the natives. Or she 
might even be laid on the mud and a bridge built to her. 
The noble timber of which there is such abundance would 
furnish plenty of materials for building either defences, 
houses, or vessels ; the river would furnish plenty of fish, 
and the soil make ample returns for any European vege- 
tables, etc., sown in it. 

I have some reason to think from observations made 
upon the vegetables that the winters here are extremely 
mild, much more so than in England ; the summers we have 
found to be scarcely at all hotter, though more equally warm. 

The southern part, which is much more hilly and barren 
than the northern, I firmly believe to abound with minerals 
in a very high degree : this, however, is only conjecture. I 
had not to my great regret an opportunity of landing in any 
place where the signs of them were promising, except the 
last; nor indeed in any one, where from the ship the 
country appeared likely to produce them, which it did to 
the southward in a very high degree, as I have mentioned 
in my daily Journal. 

On every occasion when we landed in this country, we 
have seen, I had almost said, no quadrupeds originally 
natives of it. Dogs and rats, indeed, there are, the former 

1 A commencement of colonisation was made by Samuel Marsden, a 
missionary, in 1814, in the Bay of Islands. The first definite attempt to 
colonise was by the New Zealand Company in 1840, whose settlement was at 
Wellington. In the same year Captain Hobson, R.N., was sent as Lieut. - 
Governor : he landed in the Bay of Islands, and transferred his headquarters 
to the Hauraki Gulf in September, where he founded Auckland (Wharton's 
Cook, p. 231). 


as in other countries companions of the men, and the latter 
probably brought hither by the men ; especially as they are 
so scarce, that I myself have not had opportunity of seeing 
even one. Of seals, indeed, we have seen a few, and one 
sea-lion ; but these were in the sea, and are certainly very 
scarce, as there were no signs of them among the natives, 
except a few teeth of the latter, which they make into a 
kind of bodkin and value much. It appears not improbable 
that there really are no other species of quadrupeds in the 
country, for the natives, whose chief luxury in dress con- 
sists in the skins and hair of dogs and the skins of divers 
birds, and who wear for ornaments the bones and beaks of 
birds and teeth of dogs, would probably have made use of 
some part of any other animal they were acquainted with, 
a circumstance which, though carefully sought after, we 
never saw the least signs of. 

Of birds there are not many species, and none, except 
perhaps the gannet, are the same as those of Europe. There 
are ducks and shags of several kinds, sufficiently like the 
European ones to be called the same by the seamen, both 
which we eat and accounted good food, especially the former, 
which are not at all inferior to those of Europe. 

Besides these there are hawks, owls, and quails, differing 
but little at first sight from those of Europe, and several 
small birds that sing much more melodiously than any I 
have heard. The sea coast is also frequently visited by 
many oceanic birds, as albatrosses, shearwaters, pintados, etc., 
and has also a few of the birds called by Sir John 
Narbrough penguins, which are truly what the French call 
a nuance between birds and fishes, as their feathers, especially 
on their wings, differ but little from scales ; and their wings 
themselves, which they use only in diving, by no means 
attempting to fly or even accelerate their motion on the 
surface of the water (as young birds are observed to do), 
might thence almost as properly be called fins. 

Neither are insects in greater plenty than birds ; a few 
butterflies and beetles, flesh-flies very like those in Europe, 
mosquitos and sand-flies, perhaps exactly the same as those 



of North America, make up the whole list. Of these last, 
however, which are most justly accounted the curse of any 
country where they abound, we never met with any great 
abundance; a few indeed there were in almost every place 
we went into, but never enough to make any occupations 
ashore troublesome, or to give occasion for using shades for 
the face, which we had brought out to protect us from such 

For this scarcity of animals on the land the sea, how- 
ever, makes abundant recompense ; every creek and corner 
produces abundance of fish, not only wholesome, but at least 
as well-tasted as our fish in Europe. The ship seldom 
anchored in, or indeed passed over (in light winds), any 
place whose bottom was such as fish generally resort to, 
without our catching as many with hooks and line as the 
people could eat. This was especially the case to the south- 
ward, where, when we lay at anchor, the boats could take 
any quantity near the rocks ; besides which the seine 
seldom failed of success, insomuch that on the two occasions 
when we anchored to the southward of Cook's Straits, every 
mess in the ship that had prudence enough salted as much 
fish as lasted them many weeks after they went to sea. 

For the sorts, there are mackerel of several kinds, one 
precisely the same as our English, and another much like 
our horse-mackerel, besides several more. These come in 
immense shoals and are taken in large seines by the natives, 
from whom we bought them at very easy rates. Besides 
these there were many species which, though they did not 
at all resemble any fish that I at least have before seen, our 
seamen contrived to give names to, so that hake, bream, 
cole-fish, etc., were appellations familiar with us, and I must 
say that those which bear these names in England need not 
be ashamed of their namesakes in this country. But above 
all the luxuries we met with, the lobsters, or sea-crawfish, 
must not be forgotten. They are possibly the same as are 
mentioned in Lord Anson's voyage as being found at the 
island of Juan Fernandez, and differ from ours in England 
in having many more prickles on their backs and being red 



when taken out of the water. Of them we bought great 
quantities everywhere to the northward from the natives, 
who catch them by diving near the shore, feeling first with 
their feet till they find out where they lie. We had also 
that fish described by Frezier in his voyage to Spanish South 
America by the name of elefant,pejegallo, or poisson coq, which, 
though coarse, we made shift to eat, and several species of 
skate or sting-rays, which were abominably coarse. But to 
make amends for that, we had among several sorts of dog- 
fish one that was spotted with a few white spots, whose 
flavour was similar to, but much more delicate than, our 
skate. We had flat fish also like soles and flounders, eels 
and congers of several sorts, and many others, which any 
European who may come here after us will not fail to find 
the advantage of, besides excellent oysters, cockles, clams, and 
many other sorts of shell-fish, etc. 

Though the country generally is covered with an abundant 
verdure of grass and trees, yet I cannot say that it is productive 
of such great variety as many countries I have seen : the entire 
novelty, however, of the greater part of what we found 
recompensed us as natural historians for the want of variety. 
Sow-thistle, garden-nightshade, and perhaps one or two kinds 
of grasses, were exactly the same as in England, three or 
four kinds of fern were the same as those of the West 
Indies : these with a plant or two common to all the world, 
were all that had been described by any botanist out of 
about four hundred species, except five or six which we 
ourselves had before seen in Terra del Fuego. 

Of eatable vegetables there are very few ; we, indeed, as 
people who had been long at sea, found great benefit in the 
article of health by eating plentifully of wild celery and a 
kind of cress which grows everywhere abundantly near the 
sea-side. We also once or twice met with a herb 1 like 
that which the country people in England call " lamb's- 
quarters " or "fat-hen," which we boiled instead of greens ; and 
once only a cabbage-tree, 2 the cabbage of which made us 

1 Atriplex patula, Linn. ; it is identical with the English "fat-hen." 
2 The most southern of all palms, Areca sapida, Soland. 


one delicious meal. These, with the fern roots and one 
vegetable (Pandanus) l totally unknown in Europe, which, 
though eaten by the natives, no European will probably 
ever relish, are the whole of the vegetables which I know 
to be eatable, except those which they cultivate, and have 
probably brought with them from the country from whence 
they themselves originally come. 

Nor does their cultivated ground produce many species 
of esculent plants ; three only have I seen, yams, sweet 
potatoes, and cocos, all three well known and much esteemed 
in both the East and West Indies. Of these, especially the 
two former, they cultivate often patches of many acres, and 
I believe that any ship that found itself to the northward 
in the autumn, about the time of digging them up, might 
purchase any quantity. They also cultivate gourds, the 
fruits of which serve to make bottles, jugs, etc., and a very 
small quantity of the Chinese paper mulberry tree. 

Fruits they have none, except I should reckon a few 
kinds of insipid berries which had neither sweetness nor 
flavour to recommend them, and which none but the boys 
took the pains to gather. 

The woods, however, abound in excellent timber, fit for 
any kind of building in size, grain, and apparent durability. 
One, which bears a very conspicuous scarlet flower 2 made up 
of many threads, and which is as big as an oak in England, 
has a very heavy hard wood which seems well adapted for 
the cogs of mill-wheels, etc., or any purpose for which very 
hard wood is used. That which I have before mentioned to 
grow in the swamps, 3 which has a leaf not unlike a yew and 
bears small bunches of berries, is tall, straight, and thick 
enough 'to make masts for vessels of any size, and seems like- 
wise by the straight direction of the fibres to be tough, but it 
is too heavy. This, however, I have been told, is the case 
with the pitch-pine in North America, the timber of which 
this much resembles, and which the North Americans 
lighten by tapping, and actually use for masts. 

1 Freycinetia Banksii, A. Cunn. 2 Metrosideros robusta, A. Cunn. ; 

3 Podocarpus dacrydioides, A. Cunn. 


But of all the plants we have seen among these people, 
that which is the most excellent in its kind, and which really 
excels most if not all that are put to the same uses in other 
countries, is the plant which serves them instead of hemp or 
flax. 1 Of this there are two sorts. The leaves of both much 
resemble those of flags ; the flowers are smaller and grow 
many more together. In one sort they are yellowish, in the 
other of a deep red. Of the leaves of these plants all their 
common wearing apparel is made with very little preparation, 
and all strings, lines, and cordage for every purpose, and that 
of a strength so much superior to hemp as scarce to bear 
comparison with it. From these leaves also by another 
preparation a kind of snow-white fibre is drawn, shining 
almost as silk, and likewise surprisingly strong ; of this all 
their finer cloths are made : their fishing-nets are also made 
of these leaves, without any other preparation than splitting 
them into proper breadths and tying the strips together. So 
useful a plant would doubtless be a great acquisition to England, 
especially as one might hope it would thrive there with little 
trouble, as it seems hardy and affects no particular soil, being 
found equally on hills and in valleys, in dry soil and the 
deepest bogs, which last land it seems, however, rather to 
prefer, as I have always seen it in such places of a larger 
size than anywhere else. 

When first we came ashore we imagined the country to 
be much better peopled than we afterwards found it ; conclud- 
ing from the smokes that we saw that there were inhabitants 
very far inland, which indeed in Poverty Bay and the Bay of 
Plenty (much the best peopled part of the country that we 
have seen) may be the case. In all the other parts we have 
been in we have, however, found the sea coast only inhabited, 
and that but sparingly, insomuch that the number of inhabit- 
ants seems to bear no kind of proportion to the size of the 
country. This is probably owing to their frequent wars. 
Besides this the whole coast from Cape Maria Van Diemen 
to Mount Egmont, and seven-eighths of the Southern Island, 
seem totally without people. 

1 Phormium tenax, Forst, the New Zealand Flax. 


The men are of the size of the larger Europeans, stout, 
clean-limbed, and active, fleshy, but never fat, as the lazy 
inhabitants of the South Sea Isles, vigorous, nimble, and at 
the same time clever in all their exercises. I have seen 
fifteen paddles of a side in one of their canoes move with 
immensely quick strokes, and at the same time as much 
justness as if the rowers were animated by one soul, not 
the fraction of a second could be observed between the 
dipping and raising any two of them, the canoe all the 
while moving with incredible swiftness. To see them dance 
their war dance was an amusement which never failed to 
please every spectator. So much strength, firmness, and 
agility did they show in their motions, and at the same time 
such excellent time did they keep, that I have often heard 
above a hundred paddles struck against the sides of their boats, 
as directed by their singing, without a mistake being ever 
made. In colour they vary a little, some being browner than 
others ; but few are browner than a Spaniard a little sunburnt 
might be supposed to be. The women, without being at 
all delicate in their outward appearance, are rather smaller 
than European women, but have a peculiar softness of voice 
which never fails to distinguish them from the men. Both 
are dressed exactly alike. The women are like those of the 
sex that I have seen in other countries, more lively, airy, 
and laughter-loving than the men, and with more volatile 
spirits. Formed by nature to soften the cares of more 
serious man, who takes upon himself the laborious and toil- 
some part, as war, tilling the ground, etc., that disposition 
appears even in this uncultivated state of nature, showing 
in a high degree that, in uncivilised as well as in the most 
polished nations, man's ultimate happiness must at last be 
placed in woman. The dispositions of both sexes seem 
mild, gentle, and very affectionate to each other, but im- 
placable towards their enemies, whom after having killed 
they eat, probably from a principle of revenge. I believe 
they never give quarter or take prisoners. They seem inured 
to war, and in their attacks work themselves up by their 
own war dance to a kind of artificial courage, which will 


not let them think in the least. Whenever they met with 
us and thought themselves superior they always attacked us, 
though seldom seeming to intend more than to provoke us 
to show them what we were able to do in this case. By 
many trials we found that good usage and fair words would 
not avail the least with them, nor would they be convinced 
by the noise of our firearms alone that we were superior 
to them ; but as soon as they had felt the smart of even a 
load of small shot, and had time to recollect themselves 
from the effects of their artificial courage, which commonly 
took a day, they were sensible of our superiority and be- 
came at once our good friends, upon all occasions placing 
the most unbounded confidence in us. They are not, like 
the islanders, 1 addicted to stealing ; but (if they could) would 
sometimes, before peace was concluded, by offering anything 
they had to sell, entice us to trust something of ours into 
their hands, and refuse to return it with all the coolness in 
the world, seeming to look upon it as the plunder of an 

Neither of the sexes are quite so cleanly in their persons 
as the islanders ; not having the advantage of so warm a 
climate, they do not wash so often. But the disgustful thing 
about them is the oil with which they daub their hair, 
smelling something like a Greenland dock when they are 
" trying " whale blubber. This is melted from the fat either 
of fish or birds. The better sort indeed have it fresh, and 
then it is entirely void of smell. 

Both sexes stain themselves in the same manner with 
the colour of black, and somewhat in the same way as the 
South Sea Islanders, introducing it under the skin by a 
sharp instrument furnished with many teeth. The men 
carry this custom to much greater lengths ; the women are 
generally content with having their lips blacked, but some- 
times have little patches of black on different parts of the 
body. The man on the contrary seems to add to the 

1 Throughout the remainder of the Journal Banks constantly speaks of the 
South Sea Islands simply as "the islands," and their inhabitants as "the 


quantity every year of his life, so that some of the 
elders were almost covered with it. Their faces are the 
most remarkable ; on them, by some art unknown to me, 
they dig furrows a line deep at least, and as broad, the 
edges of which are often again indented, and absolutely 
black. This may be done to make them look frightful in 
war, indeed it has the effect of making them most enor- 
mously ugly ; the old ones especially, whose faces are entirely 
covered with it. The young, again, often have a small 
patch on one cheek or over one eye, and those under a 
certain age (maybe twenty -five or twenty-six) have no more 
than their lips black. Yet ugly as this certainly looks, it is 
impossible to avoid admiring the extreme elegance and just- 
ness of the figures traced, which on the face are always 
different spirals, and upon the body generally different 
figures, resembling somewhat the foliages of old chasing 
upon gold or silver. All these are finished with a masterly 
taste and execution, for of a hundred which at first sight 
would be judged to be exactly the same, no two on close 
examination prove alike, nor do I remember ever to have 
seen any two alike. Their wild imagination scorns to 
copy, as appears in almost all their works. In different 
parts of the coast they varied very much in the quantity 
and parts of the body on which this amoca, as they call it, 
was placed ; but they generally agreed in having the spirals 
upon the face. I have generally observed that the more 
populous a country the greater was the quantity of amoca 
used ; possibly in populous countries the emulation of 
bearing pain with fortitude may be carried to greater 
lengths than where there are fewer people, and conse- 
quently fewer examples to encourage. The buttocks, which 
in the islands were the principal seat of this ornament, in 
general here escape untouched ; in one place only we saw 
the contrary. 

Besides this dyeing in grain, as it may be called, they 
are very fond of painting themselves with red ochre, which 
they do in two ways, either rubbing it dry upon their 
skins, as some few do, or daubing their faces with large 



patches of it mixed with oil, which consequently never 
dries. This latter is generally practised by the women, and 
was not universally condemned by us, for if any of us had 
unthinkingly ravished a kiss from one of these fair savages, 
our transgressions were written in most legible characters 
on our noses, which our companions could not fail to see on 
our first interview. 

The common dress of these people is certainly to a 
stranger one of the most uncouth and extraordinary sights 
that can be imagined. It is made of the leaves of the flag 
described before, each being split into three or four slips ; 
and these, as soon as they are dry, are woven into a 
kind of stuff between netting and cloth, out of the upper 
side of which all the ends, of eight or nine inches, are 
suffered to hang in the same manner as thrums out of 
a thrum mat. Of these pieces of cloth two serve for 
a complete dress : one is tied over the shoulders, and 
reaches to about their knees ; the other is tied about the 
waist, and reaches to near the ground. But they seldom 
wear more than one of these, and when they have it on 
resemble not a little a thatched house. These dresses, 
however, ugly as they are, are well adapted for their con- 
venience, as they often sleep in the open air, and live some 
time without the least shelter, even from rain, so that they 
must trust entirely to their clothes as the only chance they 
have of keeping themselves dry. For this they are certainly 
not ill adapted, as every strip of leaf becomes in that case 
a kind of gutter which serves to conduct the rain down, and 
hinder it from soaking through the cloth beneath. 

Besides this they have several kinds of cloth which are 
smooth, and ingeniously worked; these are chiefly of two sorts, 
one coarse as our coarsest canvas, and ten times stronger, but 
much like it in the lying of the threads ; the other is formed 
by many threads running lengthwise, and a few only cross- 
ing them to tie them together. This last sort is sometimes 
striped, and always very pretty ; for the threads that com- 
pose it are prepared so as to shine almost as much as silk. 
To both these they work borders of different colours in fine 


stitches, something like carpeting or girls' samplers in vari- 
ous patterns, with an ingenuity truly surprising to any one 
who will reflect that they are without needles. They have 
also mats with which they sometimes cover themselves ; but 
the great pride of their dress seems to consist in dogs' fur, 
which they use so sparingly that to avoid waste they cut 
it into long strips, and sew them at a distance from each 
other upon their cloth, often varying the colours prettily 
enough. When first we saw these dresses we took them for 
the skins of bears or some animal of that kind, but we 
were soon undeceived, and found upon inquiry that they 
were acquainted with no animal that had fur or long hair 
but their own dogs. Some there were who had their 
dresses ornamented with feathers, and one who had an 
entire dress of the red feathers of parrots ; but these were 
not common. 

The first man we saw when we went ashore at Poverty 
Bay, and who was killed by one of our people, had his dress 
tied exactly in the same manner as is represented in Mr. 
Dalrymple's account of Tasman's voyage, in a plate which 
I believe is copied from Valentijn's History of the East 
Indies ; it was tied over his shoulders, across his breast, 
under his armpits, again across his breast, and round his 
loins. Of this dress we saw, however, but one more instance 
during our whole stay on the coast, though it seems con- 
venient, as it leaves the arms quite at liberty, while the 
body is covered. In general, indeed, when they choose to 
set their arms at liberty, they at the same time free all 
their limbs by casting off their clothes entirely. 

The men always wear short beards, and tie their hair 
in a small knot on the top of their heads, sticking into it 
a kind of comb, and at the top two or three white feathers. 
The women, contrary to the custom of the sex in general, 
seem to affect rather less dress than the men. Their hair, 
which they wear short, is seldom tied, and when it is, it 
is behind their heads, and never ornamented with feathers. 
Their cloths are of the same stuff, and in the same form, as 
those of the men. 

1770 ORNAMENTS, ETC. 235 

Both sexes bore their ears, and wear in them a great 
variety of ornaments ; the holes are generally (as if to keep 
them upon the stretch) filled up with a plug of some sort or 
other, either cloth, feathers, bones of large birds, or some- 
times only a stick of wood : into this hole they often also 
put nails or anything we gave them which could go there. 
The women also often wear bunches, nearly as large as a 
fist, of the down of the albatross, which is snow-white. 
This, though very odd, makes by no means an inelegant ap- 
pearance. They hang from them by strings many very 
different things, often a chisel and bodkins made of a kind of 
green talc, which they value much ; the nails and teeth also 
of their deceased relations, dogs' teeth, and, in short, 
anything which is either valuable or ornamental. Besides 
these the women sometimes wear bracelets and anklets 
made of the bones of birds, shells, etc., and the men 
often carry the figure of a distorted man made of the before- 
mentioned green talc, or the tooth of a whale cut slantwise, 
so as to resemble somewhat a tongue, and furnished with 
two eyes. These they wear about their necks and seem 
to value almost above everything else. I saw one instance 
also of a very extraordinary ornament, which was a feather 
stuck through the bridge of the nose, and projecting on each 
side of it over the cheeks ; but this I only mention as a 
singular thing, having met with it only once among the 
many people I have seen, and never observed in any other 
even the marks of a hole which might occasionally serve 
for such a purpose. 

Their houses are certainly the most unartificially made 
of anything among them, scarcely equal to a European dog's 
kennel, and resembling it, in the door at least, which is 
barely high or wide enough to admit a man crawling upon 
all fours. They are seldom more than sixteen or eighteen 
feet long, eight or ten broad, and five or six high from the 
ridge pole to the ground : they are built with a sloping roof 
like our European houses. The material of both walls and 
roof is dry grass or hay, and very tightly it is put together, 
so that they must necessarily be very warm ; some are lined 


with the bark of trees on the inside, and many have either 
over the door or somewhere in the house a plank covered 
with their carving, which they seem to value much 
as we do a picture, placing it always as conspicuously 
as possible. All these houses have the door at one end ; 
and near it is a square hole which serves as a window 
or probably in winter time more as a chimney ; for then 
they light a fire at the end where this door and window 
are placed. The side walls and roof project generally eighteen 
inches or two feet beyond the end wall, making a kind 
of porch, where are benches on which the people of the 
house often sit. Within is a square place fenced off with 
either boards or stones from the rest, in the middle 
of which they can make a fire ; the sides of the house are 
thickly laid with straw, on which they sleep. As for furni- 
ture, they are not much troubled with it; one chest com- 
monly contains all their riches, consisting of tools, cloths, 
arms, and a few feathers to stick into their hair ; their 
gourds or baskets made of bark, which serve them to keep 
fresh water, their provision baskets, and the hammers with 
which they beat their fern roots, are generally left without 
the door. 

Mean and low as these houses are, they most perfectly 
resist all inclemencies of the weather, and answer con- 
sequently the purposes of mere shelter as well as larger 
ones would do. The people, I believe, spend little of the day 
in them (except maybe in winter) ; the porch seems to 
be the place for work, and those who have not room there 
must sit upon a stone, or on the ground in the neighbourhood. 

Some few families of the better sort have a kind of court- 
yard, the walls of which are made of poles and hay, ten or 
twelve feet high, and which, as their families are large, encloses 
three or four houses. But I must not forget the ruins, or 
rather frame of a house (for it had never been finished), 
which I saw at Tolaga, as it was so much superior in size 
to anything of the kind we have met with in any other 
part of the land. It was 3 feet in length, 1 5 in breadth, and 
1 2 high ; the sides of it were ornamented with many broad 



carved planks of a workmanship superior to any other we 
saw on the land. For what purpose this was built or why 
deserted we could not find out. 

Though these people when at home defend themselves so 
well from the inclemencies of the weather, yet when they are 
abroad upon their excursions, which they often make in search 
of fern roots, fish, etc., they seem totally indifferent to shelter. 
Sometimes they make a small shade to windward of them, 
but more often omit that precaution. During our stay at 
Opoorage, or Mercury Bay, a party of Indians were there, 
consisting of forty or fifty, who during all that time never 
erected the least covering, though it twice rained almost 
without ceasing for twenty-four hours together. 

Their food, in the use of which they seem to be moderate, 
consists of dogs, birds (especially sea fowl, as penguins, 
albatrosses, etc.), fish, sweet potatoes, yams, cocos, some few 
wild plants, as sow-thistles 1 and palm-cabbage, but above all, 
the root of a species of fern which seems to be to them what 
bread is to us. This fern is very common upon the hills, and 
very nearly resembles that which grows upon our hilly 
commons in England, and is called indifferently fern, bracken, 
or brakes. As for the flesh of man, although they certainly 
do eat it, I cannot in my own opinion debase human nature 
so much as to imagine that they relish it as a dainty, or 
even look upon it as common food. Thirst for revenge may 
drive men to great lengths when their passions are allowed 
to take their full swing, yet nature, through all the superior 
part of the creation, shows how much she recoils at the 
thought of any species preying upon itself. Dogs and cats 
show visible signs of disgust at the very sight of a dead 
carcass of their own species; even wolves or bears are said 
never to eat one another except in cases of absolute necessity, 
when the stings of hunger have overcome the precepts of 
nature, in which case the same has been done by the in- 
habitants of the most civilised nations. Among fish and 
insects, indeed, there are many instances which prove that 

1 The New Zealand bracken and sow-thistle are identical with the English 
(Pteris aquilina, Linn., and Sonchus asper, Vill.). 


those that live by prey regard little whether what they 
take is of their own or any other species. But any one who 
considers the admirable chain of nature, in which man, 
alone endowed with reason, justly claims the highest rank, 
and in which the half -reasoning elephant, the sagacious 
dog, the architect beaver, etc., in whom instinct so nearly 
resembles reason as to have been mistaken for it by men of 
no mean capacities, are placed next ; from these descending 
through the less informed quadrupeds and birds to the 
fish and insects, who seem, besides the instinct of fear which 
is given them for self-preservation, to be moved only by the 
stings of hunger to eat, and those of lust to propagate their 
species, which, when born, are left entirely to their own 
care ; and at last by the medium of the oysters, etc., which 
not being able to move, but as tossed about by the waves, 
must in themselves be furnished with both sexes, that the 
species may be continued; shading itself away into the 
vegetable kingdom, for the preservation of whom neither 
sensation nor instinct is wanted ; whoever considers this, I 
say, will easily see that no conclusion in favour of such a 
practice can be drawn from the actions of a race of beings 
placed so infinitely below us in the order of nature. 

But to return to my subject. Simple as their food is, 
their cookery so far as I saw is as simple : a few stones 
heated and laid in a hole, with the meat laid upon them and 
covered with hay, seems to be the most difficult part of it. 
Fish and birds they generally broil, or rather toast, spiking 
them upon a long skewer, the bottom of which is fixed 
under a stone, another stone being put under the fore 
part of the skewer, which is raised or lowered by moving the 
second stone as circumstances may require. The fern 
roots are laid upon the open fire until they are thoroughly 
hot and their bark burnt to a coal ; they are then beaten 
with a wooden hammer over a stone, which causes all the 
bark to fly off, and leaves the inside, consisting of a small 
proportion of a glutinous pulp mixed with many fibres, 
which they generally spit out, after having sucked each 
mouthful a long time. Strange and unheard of as it must 



appear to a European, to draw nourishment from a class of 
plant which in Europe no animal, hardly even insects, will 
taste, I am much inclined to think that it affords a nourish- 
ing and wholesome diet. These people eat but little, and 
this is the foundation of their meals all summer, at least 
from the time that their roots are planted, till the season 
for digging them up. Among them I have seen several 
very healthy old men, and in general the whole of them are 
as vigorous a race as can be imagined. 

To the southward, where little or nothing is planted, fern 
roots and fish must serve them all the year. Accordingly, 
we saw that they had made vast piles of both, especially 
the latter, which were dried in the sun very well, and I 
suppose meant for winter stock, when possibly fish is not 
so plentiful or the trouble of catching it is greater than in 

Water is their universal drink, nor did I see any signs 
of any other liquor being at all known to them, or any 
method of intoxication. If they really have not, happy they 
must be allowed to be above all other nations that I have 
heard of. 

So simple a diet, accompanied with moderation, must be 
productive of sound health, which indeed these people are 
blessed with in a very high degree. Though we were in 
several of their towns, where young and old crowded to see 
us, actuated by the same curiosity as made us desirous of 
seeing them, I do not remember a single instance of a 
person distempered in any degree that came under my 
inspection, and among the numbers of them that I have 
seen naked, I have never seen an eruption on the skin or 
any signs of one, scars or otherwise. Their skins, when 
they came off to us in their canoes, were often marked in 
patches with a little floury appearance, which at first 
deceived us, but we afterwards found that it was owing to 
their having been in their passage wetted with the spray of 
the sea, which, when it was dry, left the salt behind it in a 
fine white powder. 

Such health drawn from so sound principles must make 


physicians almost useless ; indeed I am inclined to think 
that their knowledge of physic is but small, judging from the 
state of their surgery which more than once came under my 
inspection. Of this art they seemed totally ignorant. I saw 
several wounded by our shot, without the smallest applica- 
tion on their wounds ; one in particular who had a musket 
ball shot right through the fleshy part of his arm, came out 
of his house and showed himself to us, making a little use 
of the wounded arm. The wound, which was then of several 
days' standing, was totally void of inflammation, and in 
short appeared to be in so good a state, that had any 
application been made use of, I should not have failed to 
inquire carefully what it had been which had produced so 
good an effect. 

A further proof, and not a weak one, of the sound 
health that these people enjoy, may be taken from the 
number of old people we saw. Hardly a canoe came off to 
us without bringing one or more ; and every town had 
several, who, if we may judge by grey hairs and worn-out 
teeth, were of a very advanced age. Of these few or none 
were decrepit ; the greater number seemed in vivacity and 
cheerfulness to equal the young, and indeed to be inferior 
to them in nothing but the want of equal strength and 

That the people have a larger share of ingenuity than 
usually falls to the lot of nations who have had so little or 
no commerce with any others appears at first sight : their 
boats, the better sort at least, show it most evidently. 
These are built of very thin planks sewn together, their 
sides rounding up like ours, but very narrow for their 
length. Some are immensely long. One I saw which the 
people laid alongside the ship, as if to measure how 
much longer she was than the canoe, fairly reached from 
the anchor that hung at the bows quite aft, but indeed 
we saw few so large as that. All, except a few we saw at 
Opoorage or Mercury Bay, which were merely trunks of trees 
hollowed out by fire, were more or less ornamented by 
carving. The common fishing canoe had no ornament but 

1770 CANOES 241 

the face of a man with a monstrous tongue, whose eyes were 
generally inlaid with a kind of shell like mother-of-pearl ; 
but the larger sort, which seemed to be intended for war, 
were really magnificently adorned. The head was formed by 
a plank projecting about three feet before the canoe, and on 
the stern stood another, proportioned to the size of the 
canoe, from ten to eighteen feet high. Both these were 
richly carved with open work, and covered with loose 
fringes of black feathers that had a most graceful effect. 
The gunnel boards were often also carved in grotesque 
taste, and ornamented with white feathers in bunches 
placed upon a black ground at certain intervals. They 
sometimes joined two small canoes together, and now and 
then made use of an outrigger, as is practised in the islands, 
but this was more common to the southward. 

In managing these canoes, at least in paddling them, 
they are very expert. In one I counted sixteen paddlers 
on a side, and never did men, I believe, keep better time 
with their strokes, driving on the boat with immense 
velocity. Their paddles are often ornamented with carving, 
the blade is of an oval shape pointed towards the bottom, 
broadest in the middle, and again sloping towards the 
handle, which is about four feet long, the whole being 
generally about six feet in length, more or less. In sailing they 
are not so expert ; we very seldom saw them make use of 
sails, and indeed never, unless they were to go right before 
the wind. They were made of mat, and instead of a mast 
were hoisted upon two sticks, which were fastened one to 
each side, so that they required two ropes which answered 
the purpose of sheets, and were fastened to the tops of 
these sticks. In this clumsy manner they sailed with a 
good deal of swiftness, and were steered by two men who 
sat in the stern, each with a paddle in his hand. I shall 
set down the dimensions of one which we measured, that 
was of the largest size. It was in length 68^- feet, breadth 
5 feet, depth 3-^ feet. This was the only one we measured, 
or indeed had an opportunity of measuring. 

Of the beauty of their carving in general I would fain 


say more, but find myself much inferior to the task. I 
shall therefore content myself with saying that their taste led 
them into two materially different styles, as I will call them. 
One was entirely formed of a number of spirals differently 
connected, the other was in a much more wild taste, and I 
may truly say was like nothing but itself. The truth with 
which the lines were drawn was surprising ; but even more 
so was their method of connecting several spirals into one 
piece, inimitably well, intermingling the ends in so dexterous 
a manner that it was next to impossible for the eye to trace 
the connections. The beauty of all their carvings, however, 
depended entirely on the design, for the execution was so 
rough that when you came near it was difficult to see 
any beauty in the things which struck you most at a 

After having said so much of their workmanship, it will 
be necessary to say something of their tools. As they 
have no metals these are made of stone of different 
kinds, their hatchets especially of any hard stone they can 
get, but chiefly of a kind of green talc, which is very hard 
and at the same time tough. With axes of this stone they 
cut so clean that it would often puzzle a man to say whether 
the wood they have shaped was or was not cut with an iron 
hatchet. These axes they value above all their riches, and 
would seldom part with them for anything we could offer. 
Their nicer work, which requires nicer-edged tools, they do 
with fragments of jasper, which they break and use the sharp 
edges till they become blunt, after which they throw them 
away as useless, for it is impossible ever again to sharpen 
them. I suppose it was with these fragments of jasper 
that at Tolaga they bored a hole through a piece of glass 
that we had given them, just large enough to admit a thread 
in order to convert it into an ornament. I must confess I 
am quite ignorant of what method they use to cut and polish 
their weapons, which are made of very hard stone. 

Their cloths are made exactly in the same manner as 
by the inhabitants of South America, some of whose work- 
manship, procured at Rio de Janeiro, I have on board. The 


warp or long threads are laid very close together, and each 
crossing of the woof is distant at least an inch from another. 
They have besides this several other kinds of cloth, and 
work borders to them all, but as to their manner of doing 
so I must confess myself totally ignorant. I never but 
once saw any of this work going forward ; it was done in a 
kind of frame of the breadth of the cloth, across which it 
was spread, and the cross threads worked in by hand, which 
must be very tedious ; however, the workmanship sufficiently 
proves the workmen to be dexterous in their way. One 
notable point I must not forget, which is that to every 
garment of the better kind is fixed a bodkin, as if to remind 
the wearer that if it should be torn by any accident, no 
time should be lost before it is mended. 

Nets for fishing they make in the same manner as ours, 
of an amazing size ; a seine seems to be the joint work of a 
whole town, and I suppose the joint property. Of these I 
think I have seen as large as ever I saw in Europe. Besides 
this they have fish pots and baskets worked with twigs, and 
another kind of net which they most generally make use of 
that I have never seen in any country but this. It is 
circular, seven or eight feet in diameter, and two or three 
deep ; it is stretched by two or three hoops and open at 
the top for nearly, but not quite, its whole extent. On the 
bottom is fastened the bait, a little basket containing the 
guts, etc., of fish and sea ears, which are tied to different 
parts of the net. This is let down to the bottom where the 
fish are, and when enough are supposed to be gathered 
together, it is drawn up with a very gentle motion, by 
which means the fish are insensibly lifted from the bottom. 
In this manner I have seen them take vast numbers of fish, 
and indeed it is a most general way of fishing all over the 
coast. Their hooks are ill made, generally of bone or shell 
fastened to a piece of wood ; indeed, they seem to have little 
occasion for them, for with their nets they take fish much 
easier than they could with hooks. 

In tilling they excel, as people who are themselves to 
eat the fruit of their industry, and have little else to do but 


cultivate, necessarily must. When we first came to Tegadu 
the crops were just covered, and had not yet begun to sprout ; 
the mould was as smooth as in a garden, and every root had 
its small hillock, all ranged in a regular quincunx by lines, 
which with the pegs still remained in the field. 

We had not an opportunity of seeing them work, but 
once saw their tool, which is a long and narrow stake, 
flattened a little and sharpened ; across this is fixed a piece 
of stick for the convenience of pressing it down with the 
foot. With this simple tool, industry teaches them to turn 
pieces of ground of six or seven acres in extent. The soil 
is generally sandy, and is therefore easily turned up, while 
the narrowness of the tool, the blade of which is not more 
than three inches broad, makes it meet with the less 

Tillage, weaving, and the rest of the arts of peace are 
best known and most practised in the north-eastern parts ; 
indeed, in the southern there is little to be seen of any of 
them ; but war seems to be equally known to all, though 
most practised in the south-west. The mind of man, ever 
ingenious in inventing instruments of destruction, has not 
been idle here. Their weapons, though few, are well cal- 
culated for bloody fights, and the destruction of numbers. 
Defensive weapons they have none, and no missives except 
stones and darts, which are chiefly used in defending their 
forts ; so that if two bodies should meet either in boats or 
upon the plain ground, they must fight hand to hand and 
the slaughter be consequently immense. 

Of their weapons, the spears are made of hard wood 
pointed at both ends, sometimes headed with human bones ; 
some are fourteen or fifteen feet long. They are grasped by 
the middle, so that the end which hangs behind, serving as a 
balance to keep the front steady, makes it much more difficult 
to parry a push from one of them than it would from one of 
a spear only half as long which was held by the end. Their 
battle-axes, likewise made of a very hard wood, are about six 
feet long, the bottom of the handle pointed, and the blade, 
which is exactly like that of an axe but broader, made very 

1770 WEAPONS 245 

sharp : with these they chop at the heads of their antagonists 
when an opportunity offers. 

The patoo-patoos, as they called them, are a kind of 
small hand bludgeon of stone, bone, or hard wood, most 
admirably adapted for the cracking of skulls ; they are of 
different shapes, some like an ^-v r~\ old-fashioned 

chopping-knife, others like this, //x or C^ ' ; always how- 
ever, having sharp edges, ^ v^ and sufficient 
weight to make a second blow unnecessary if the first takes 
effect. In these they seemed to put their chief dependence, 
fastening them by a long strap to their wrists, lest they should 
be wrenched from them. The principal people seldom stirred 
out without one of them sticking in their girdle, generally made 
of bone (of whales as they told us) or of coarse, black, and very 
hard jasper, insomuch that we were almost led to conclude 
that in peace as well as war they wore them as a warlike 
ornament, in the same manner as we Europeans wear swords. 
The darts are about eight feet long, made of wood, bearded 
and sharpened, but intended chiefly for the defence of their 
forts, when they have the advantage of throwing them down 
from a height upon their enemy. They often brought them 
out in their boats when they meant to attack us, but so little 
were they able to make use of them against us, who were by 
reason of the height of the ship above them, that they never 
but once attempted it ; and then the dart, though thrown 
with the utmost strength of the man who held it, barely fell 
on board. Sometimes I have seen them pointed with the 
stings of sting-rays, but very seldom ; why they do not oftener 
use them I do not know. Nothing is more terrible to a 
European than the sharp-jagged beards of those bones ; but 
I believe that they seldom cause death, though the wounds 
made by them must be most troublesome and painful. 
Stones, however, they use much more dexterously, though 
ignorant of the use of slings. They throw by hand a con- 
siderable distance ; when they have pelted us with them on 
board the ship, I have seen our people attempt to throw 
them back, and not be able to reach the canoes, although they 
had so manifest an advantage in the height of their situation. 


These are all that can be properly called arms, but 
besides these the chiefs when they came to attack us carried 
in their hands a kind of ensign of distinction in the same 
manner as ours do spontoons : these were either the rib of a 
whale, as white as snow, carved very much, and ornamented 
with dogs' hair and feathers, or a stick about six feet long, 
carved and ornamented in the same manner, and generally 
inlaid with shell like mother-of-pearl. Of these chiefs there 
were in their war canoes one, two, or three, according to the 
size of the canoes. When within about a cable's length of 
the ship, they generally rose up, dressed themselves in a 
distinguishing dress (often of dog's skin^, and holding in their 
hands either one of their spontoons or a weapon, directed 
the rest of the people how to proceed. They were always 
old, or at least past the middle age, and had upon them a 
larger quantity of amoca than usual. These canoes commonly 
paddled with great vigour till they came within about a 
stone's throw of the ship (having no idea that any missive 
could reach them farther), and then began to threaten us ; 
this, indeed, the smaller canoes did, as soon as they were 
within hearing. Their words were almost universally the 
same, " Haromai haromai, harre uta a patoo-patoo oge," 
" Come to us, come to us, come but ashore with us, and we 
will kill you with our patoo-patoos." 

In this manner they continued to threaten us, venturing 
by degrees nearer and nearer till they were close alongside : 
at intervals talking very civilly, and answering any questions 
we asked them, but quickly renewing their threats till they 
had by our non-resistance gained courage enough to begin 
their war-song and dance ; after which they either became 
so insolent that we found it necessary to chastise them by 
firing small shot at them, or else threw three or four stones 
on board, and, as if content with having offered such an 
insult unavenged, left us. 

The war-song and dance consists of various contortions 
of the limbs, during which the tongue was frequently thrust 
out incredibly far, and the orbits of their eyes enlarged so 
much that a circle of white was distinctly seen round the 


iris ; in short, nothing is omitted which could render a 
human shape frightful and deformed, which I suppose they 
think terrible. During this time they brandish their 
spears, hack the air with their patoo-patoos, and shake their 
darts as if they meant every moment to begin the attack, 
singing all the while in a wild but not disagreeable manner, 
ending every strain with a loud and deep-drawn sigh, in 
which they all join in concert. The whole is accompanied 
by strokes struck against the sides of the boats with their 
feet, paddles, and arms ; the whole in such excellent time, 
that though the crews of several canoes join in concert, you 
rarely or never heard a single stroke wrongly placed. 

This we called the war-song ; for though they seemed 
fond of using it upon all occasions, whether in war or 
peace, they, I believe, never omit it in their attacks. They 
have several other songs which their women sing prettily 
enough in parts. They were all in a slow melancholy style, 
but certainly have more taste in them than could be ex- 
pected from untaught savages. Instrumental music they 
have none, unless a kind of wooden pipe, or the shell called 
Triton's Trumpet, with which they make a noise not very 
unlike that made by boys with a cow's horn, may be 
called such. They have, indeed, also a kind of small pipe 
of wood, crooked and shaped almost like a large tobacco 
pipe, but it has hardly more music in it than a whistle with 
a pea. But on none of these did I ever hear them attempt 
to play a tune or sing to their music. 

That they eat the bodies of such of their enemies as are 
killed in war, is a fact which they universally acknowledged 
from our first landing at every place we came to. It was 
confirmed by an old man, whom we supposed to be the 
chief of an Indian town very near us, bringing at our desire 
six or seven heads of men, preserved with the flesh on. 
These it seems the people keep, after having eaten the 
brains, as trophies of their victories, in the same manner as 
the Indians of North America do scalps ; they had their orna- 
ments in their ears as when alive, and some seemed to have 
false eyes. The old man was very jealous of showing them ; 


one I bought, but much against the inclination of its owner, 
for though he liked the price I offered, he hesitated much to 
send it up ; yet, having taken the price, I insisted either on 
having that returned or the head given, but could not 
prevail until I enforced my threats by showing him a 
musket, on which he chose to part with the head rather 
than the price he had, which was a pair of old drawers of 
my white linen. The head appeared to have belonged to a 
person of about fourteen or fifteen years of age, and evidently 
showed, by the contusions on one side, that it had received 
many violent blows which had chipped off a part of the 
skull near the eye. From this, and many other circum- 
stances, I am inclined to believe that these Indians give no 
quarter, or even take prisoners to eat upon a future 
occasion, as is said to have been practised by the Floridan 
Indians ; for had they done so, this young creature, who 
could not make much resistance, would have been a very 
proper subject. 

The state of war in which they live, constantly in danger 
of being surprised when least upon their guard, has taught 
them, not only to live together in towns, but to fortify 
those towns, which they do by a broad ditch, and a 
palisade within it of no despicable construction. 

For these towns or forts, which they call Heppahs, they 
choose situations naturally strong, commonly islands or 
peninsulas, where the sea or steep cliffs defend the greater 
part of their works ; and if there is any part weaker than 
the rest, a stage is erected over it of considerable height 
eighteen or twenty feet on the top of which the defenders 
range themselves, and fight with a great advantage, as 
they can throw down their darts and stones with much 
greater force than the assailants can throw them up. 
Within these forts the greater part of the tribe to whom 
they belong reside, and have large stocks of provisions : 
fern roots and dried fish, but no water ; for that article, in 
all that I have seen, was only to be had from some distance 
without the lines. From this we concluded that sieges are 
not usual among them. Some, however, are generally out 


in small parties in the neighbouring creeks and coves, 
employed either in taking fish or collecting fern roots, etc., 
a large quantity of which they bring back with them, a 
reserve, I suppose, for times when the neighbourhood of an 
enemy or other circumstances make the procuring of fresh 
provision difficult or dangerous. 

Of these forts or towns we saw many ; indeed, the 
inhabitants constantly lived in such, from the westernmost 
part of the Bay of Plenty to Queen Charlotte's Sound ; but 
about Hawke's Bay, Poverty Bay, Tegadu and Tolaga, there 
were none, and the houses were scattered about. There 
were, indeed, stages built upon the sides of hills, sometimes 
of great length, which might serve as a retreat to save their 
lives at the last extremity and nothing else, but these were 
mostly in ruins. Throughout all this district the people 
seemed free from apprehension, and as in a state of profound 
peace ; their cultivations were far more numerous and 
larger than those we saw anywhere else, and they had a 
far greater quantity of fine boats, fine clothes, fine carved 
work ; in short, the people were far more numerous, and 
lived in much greater affluence, than any others we saw. 
This seemed to be owing to their being joined together 
under one chief or king, as they always called Teratu, who 
lives far up in the country. 1 

It is much to be lamented that we could get no further 
knowledge of this chief or king than his name only ; his 
dominions are for an Indian monarch certainly most exten- 
sive. He was acknowledged for a length of coasts of up- 
wards of eighty leagues, and yet we do not know the western 
limits of his dominions ; we are sure, however, that they 
contain the greatest share of the rich part of the northern- 
most island, and that far the greatest number of people 
upon it are his subjects. Subordinate to him are lesser 
chiefs, who seem to have obedience and respect paid them 

1 The people who mentioned Teratu to us pointed, as we thought, always 
inland ; but since the country has been laid down upon paper, it appears that 
over the land in that direction lies the Bay of Plenty ; from hence it appears 
probable that this is the residence of Teratu, and, if so, the country inland 
will probably be found to be quite void of inhabitants. [Note by Banks. ] 


by the tribe to whom they belong, and who probably 
administer justice to them, though we never saw an instance 
of it, except in the case of theft on board the ship, when 
upon our complaint the offender received kicks and blows 
from the chief with whom he came on board. 

These chiefs were generally old men : whether they had 
the office of chief by birth or on account of their age, we 
never learnt ; but in the other parts, where Teratu was not 
acknowledged, we plainly learnt that the chiefs whom they 
obeyed, of which every tribe had some, received their dignity 
by inheritance. In the northern parts their societies seemed 
to have many things in common, particularly their fine 
clothes and nets ; of the former they had but few, and we 
never saw anybody employed in making them. It might be 
that what they had were the spoils of war. They were 
kept in a small hut erected for that purpose in the middle 
of the town. The latter seemed to be the joint work of 
the whole society. Every house had in it pieces of netting 
upon which they were engaged ; by joining these together it 
is probable that they made the large seines which we saw. 

The women are less regarded here than in the South 
Sea Islands, so, at least, thought Tupia, who complained of 
it as an insult upon the sex. They eat with the men, how- 
ever. How the sexes divide labour I do not know, but I 
am inclined to believe that the men till the ground, fish in 
boats, make nets, and take birds, while the women dig up 
fern roots, collect shell -fish and lobsters near the beach, 
dress the victuals, and weave cloth. Thus, at least, have 
these employments been distributed, when I had an oppor- 
tunity of observing them, which was very seldom ; for our 
approach generally made a holiday wherever we went, men, 
women, and children flocking to us either to satisfy their 
curiosity or trade with us for whatever they might have. 
They took in exchange cloth of any kind, especially linen 
or the Indian cloth we had brought from the islands, paper, 
glass bottles, sometimes pieces of broken glass, nails, etc. 

We saw few or no signs of religion among these people ; 
they had no public places of worship, as the inhabitants of 

i?7o MOURNING 251 

the South Sea Islands, and only one private one came under 
my notice, which was in the neighbourhood of a plantation 
of their sweet potatoes. It was a small square bordered 
round with stones ; in the middle was a spade, and on it 
hung a basket of fern roots an offering (I suppose) to the 
gods for the success of the crops so, at least, one of the 
natives explained it. They, however, acknowledged the 
influence of superior beings. Tupia, however, seemed to be 
much better versed in legends than any of them, for when- 
ever he began to preach, as we called it, he was sure of a 
numerous audience, who attended with most profound silence 
to his doctrines. 

The burial of the dead, instead of being a pompous 
ceremony as in the islands, is here kept secret ; we never 
so much as saw a grave where any one had been interred ; 
nor did they always agree in the accounts they gave of 
the manner of disposing of dead bodies. In the northern 
parts they told us that they buried them in the ground ; 
and in the southern, said that they threw them into the sea, 
having first tied to them a sufficient weight to cause their 
sinking. However they disposed of the dead, their regret 
for the loss of them was sufficiently visible ; few or none 
were without scars, and some had them hideously large on 
their cheeks, arms, legs, etc., from the cuts they had given 
themselves during their mourning. I have seen several 
with such wounds of which the blood was not yet stanched, 
and one only, a woman, while she was cutting herself and 
lamenting ; she wept much, repeating many sentences in a 
plaintive tone of voice, at every one of which she with a 
shell cut a gash in some part of her body. She, however, 
contrived her cuts in such a manner that few of them drew 
blood, and those that did, penetrated a small depth only. 
She was old, and had probably outlived those violent im- 
pressions that grief, as well as other passions of the mind, 
make upon young people ; her grief also was probably of 
long standing. The scars upon the bodies of the greater 
part of these people evinced, however, that they had felt 
sorrows more severely than she did. 


Thus much for the manners and customs of these people, 
as far as they have come to my knowledge in the few 
opportunities I had of seeing them. They differ in many 
things, but agree in more, with those of the inhabitants of 
the South Sea Islands. Their language I shall next give a 
short specimen of; it is almost precisely the same, at least 
fundamentally. It is true that they have generally added 
several letters to the words as used by the inhabitants of 
Otahite, etc., but the original plainly appears in the com- 
position. The language of the northern and southern parts 
differs chiefly in this, that the one has added more letters than 
the other ; the original words are, however, not less visible 
to the most superficial observer. I shall give a short table 
of each compared with the Otahite, taking care to mention 
as many words as possible as are either of a doubtful or 
different origin ; premising, however, two things first, that 
the words were so much disguised by their manner of pro- 
nouncing them that I found it very difficult to understand 
them until I had written them down ; secondly, that Tupia, 
from the very first, understood and conversed with them 
with great facility. 

I must remark that most of the southern language was 
not taken down by myself, and I am inclined to believe 
that the person who did it for me made use of more letters 
in spelling the words than were absolutely necessary. The 
genius of the language, especially in the southern parts, is to 
add some particle the or a before a noun as we do ; the 
was generally Jce or Jco. They also often add to the end of 
any word, especially if it is in answer to a question, the word 
oeia, which signifies yes, really, or certainly. This some- 
times led our gentlemen into the most long-winded words, 
one of which I shall mention as an example. In the Bay 
of Islands a very remarkable island was called by the natives 
Motu aro ; some of our gentlemen asked the name of this 
from one of the natives, who answered, I suppose, as usual 
Komotu aro; the gentleman not hearing well the word, 
repeated his question, on which the Indian repeated his 
answer, adding oeia to the end of the name, which made it 




Kemotuaroeia. In this way at least, and no other, can I 
account for that island being called in the log - book 
Cumettiwarroweia. The same is practised by the inhabit- 
ants of the South Sea Islands, only their particle, instead of 
ke or ko, is to or to, ; their oeia is exactly the same, and, 
when I first began to learn the language, produced many 
difficulties and mistakes. 




A chief 




A man 




A woman 




The head 
The hair 

Macau we 



The ear 




The forehead 




The eyes 




The cheeks 




The nose 




The mouth 




The chin 




The arm 



The finger 
The belly 




The navel 
Come here 








A lobster 








Sweet potatoes 
















The teeth 




The wind 




A thief 



To examine 



To sing 
















































MARCH 31 JUNE 18, 1770 

Choice of routes Reasons in favour of and against the existence of a southern 
continent Suggestions for a proposed expedition in search of it Leave 
^ New Zealand Malt wort Portuguese man-of-war and its sting Hot 
weather Land seen "Waterspouts Variation of the compass Natives 
Their indifference to the ship Opposition to landing Excursion into 
the country Vegetation and animals seen Botanising Timidity of the 
natives Enormous sting-rays Treachery of natives Leave Botany Bay 
Ants Stinging caterpillars Gum trees Oysters Crabs Figs im- 
pregnated by Gynips East Indian plants Ants' nests Butterflies 
Amphibious fish Ship strikes on a coral rock Critical position 
Fothering the ship Steadiness of the crew The ship taken into the 
Endeavour River Scurvy. 

HAVING now entirely circumnavigated New Zealand, and 
found it, not as generally supposed, part of a continent, but 
two islands, and having not the least reason to imagine that 
any country larger than itself lay in its neighbourhood, it 
was resolved to leave it and proceed upon further discoveries 
on our return to England, as we were determined to do as 
much as the state of the ship and provisions would allow. In 
consequence of this resolution a consultation was held and 
three schemes proposed. One, much the most eligible, was to 
return by Cape Horn, keeping all the way in the high lati- 
tudes, by which means we might with certainty determine 
whether or not a southern continent existed. This was 
unanimously agreed to be more than the condition of the 
ship would allow. Our provisions indeed might be equal to 
it ; we had six months' at two- thirds allowance, but our 


sails and rigging, with which, the former especially, we were 
at first but ill provided, were rendered so bad by the blow- 
ing weather that we had met with off New Zealand that we 
were by no means in a condition to weather the hard gales 
which must be expected in a winter passage through high 
latitudes. The second was to steer to the southward of Van 
Diemen's Land and stand away directly for the Cape of Good 
Hope, but this was likewise immediately rejected. If we 
were in too bad a condition for the former, we were in too 
good a one for this ; six months' provision was much more 
than enough to carry us to any port in the East Indies, and 
the overplus was not to be thrown away in a sea where so 
few navigators had been before us. The third, therefore, 
was unanimously agreed to, which was to stand immediately 
to the westward, fall in with the coast of New Holland as 
soon as possible, and after following that to the northward 
as far as seemed proper, to attempt to fall in with the lands 
seen by Quiros in 1606. In doing this we hoped to make 
discoveries more interesting to trade at least than any we 
had yet made. We were obliged certainly to give up our 
first grand object, the southern continent ; this for my own 
part I confess I could not do without much regret. 

That a southern continent really exists I firmly believe ; 
but if asked why I believe so, I confess my reasons are 
weak : yet I have a prepossession in favour of the fact which 
I find it difficult to account for. Ice in large bodies has 
been seen off Cape Horn now and then. Sharp saw it, as did 
Frezier on his return from the coast of Chili in the month 
of March 1714: he also mentions that it has been seen by 
other French ships in the same place. If this ice (as is 
generally believed) is formed by fresh water only, there must 
be land to the southward, for the coast of Terra del Fuego 
is by no means cold enough to produce such an effect. I 
should be inclined to think also that it lies away to the 
westward, as the west and south-west winds so generally 
prevail, that the ice must be supposed to have followed the 
direction of these winds, and consequently have come from 
these points. When we sailed to the southward, in August 


and September 1769, we met with signs of land, seaweed 
and a seal, which, though both of them are often seen at 
great distances from land, yet are not met with in open 
oceans, and we were at that time too far from the coast of 
New Zealand, and much too far from that of South America, 
to have supposed them to have come from either of these. 
The body of this land must, however, be situated in very 
high latitudes ; a part of it may indeed come to the north- 
ward, within our track ; but as we never saw any signs of 
land except at the time mentioned above, although I made 
it my particular business (as well as I believe did most of 
us) to look out for such, it must be prodigiously smaller in 
extent than the theoretical continent-makers have supposed 
it to be. We have by our track proved the absolute falsity 
of over three-fourths of their positions ; and the remaining 
part cannot be much relied upon, but above all we have 
taken from them their finest groundwork, in proving New 
Zealand to be an island, which I believe was looked upon, 
even by the most thoughtful people, to be in all probability 
at least a part of some vast country. All this we have 
taken from them : the land seen by Juan Fernandez, the 
land seen by the Dutch squadron under L'Hermite, signs of a 
continent seen by Quiros, and the same by Eoggeween, etc. 
etc., have by us been proved not to be at all related to a 
continent. As for their reasoning about the balancing of 
the two poles, which always appeared to me to be a most 
childish argument, we have already shorn off so much of 
their supposed counterbalancing land, that by their own 
account the south pole would already be too light, unless 
what we have left should be made of very ponderous 
materials. As much fault as I find with these gentlemen 
will, however, probably recoil on myself, when I, on so light 
grounds as those I have mentioned, again declare it to be 
my opinion that a southern continent exists, an opinion in 
favour of which I am strongly prepossessed. But foolish 
and weak as all prepossessions must be thought, I would not 
but declare myself so, lest I might be supposed to have 
stronger reasons which I concealed. 



To search for this continent, then, the best and readiest 
way by which at once its existence or non-existence might 
be proved, appears to me to be this : let the ship or ships 
destined for this service leave England in the spring and 
proceed directly to the Cape of Good Hope, where they 
might refresh their people and take in fresh provisions, 
and thence proceed round Van Diemen's Land to the coast 
of New Zealand, where they might again refresh in any of 
the numerous harbours at the mouth of Cook's Straits, where 
they would be sure to meet with plenty of water, wood, and 
fish. Here they should arrive by the month of October, so 
as to have the good season before them to run across to the 
South Sea, which by reason of the prevailing westerly winds 
they would easily be able to do in any latitude. If in 
doing this they should not fall in with a continent, they 
might still be of service in exploring the islands in the 
Pacific Ocean, where they might refresh themselves and pro- 
ceed home by the East Indies. Such a voyage, as a voyage 
of mere curiosity, should be promoted by the Eoyal Society, 
to whom I doubt not that his Majesty upon proper applica- 
tion would grant a ship, as the subject of such a voyage 
seems at least as interesting to science in general and the 
increase of knowledge as the observation which gave rise to 
the present one. The small expense of such an equipment 
to Government is easily shown. I will venture roundly to 
affirm that the smallest station sloop in his Majesty's service 
is every year more expensive than such a ship, where every 
rope, every sail, every rope-yarn even is obliged to do its 
duty most thoroughly before it can be dismissed. How 
trifling then must this expense appear, when in return for 
it the nation acquires experienced seamen in those who 
execute it, and the praise which is never denied to countries 
who in this public-spirited manner promote the increase of 

At the Cape of Good Hope might be procured beef, 
bread, flour, peas, spirits, or indeed any kind of provision at 
reasonable rates. The beef must be bought alive and salted, 
for which purpose it would be proper to take out salt from 



Europe : the general price, which indeed never varies, is two- 
pence a pound. It is tolerable meat, but not so fat as ours 
in England. Pork is scarce and dear, of that therefore a 
larger proportion might be taken out. Bread, which varies 
in price, is of the rusk kind, very good but rather brown. 
Spirit is arrack from Batavia, the price of which, after having 
paid the duties of import and export, is 60 rixdollars 
(12 sterling) a legger of 150 gallons. Wine is in great 
plenty and very cheap, and while I was there l they began 
to distil a kind of brandy, which, however, at that time was 
as dear as arrack, and much inferior to it both in strength 
and goodness. 

Should a ship upon this expedition be obliged to go into 
False Bay, into which the Dutch remove on the 12th of 
May, most of these articles might be got there at a small 
advance occasioned by the carriage, which is very cheap, 
and if anything were wanted it might be bought from 
Cape Town either by Dutch scouts, of which there are 
several belonging to the company in the harbour, or by 
waggons over-land, as the road is good and much frequented 
at that season of the year. 

3 1st March. Our route being settled in the manner 
above mentioned, we this morning weighed, and sailed with 
a fair breeze of wind, inclined to fall in with Van Diemen's 
Land, as near as possible at the place where Tasman 
left it. 

2nd April. Our malt having turned out so indifferent 
that the surgeon made little use of it, a method was thought 
of some weeks ago to bring it into use, which was, to make 
as strong a wort with it as possible, and in this boil the 
wheat, which is served to the people for breakfast : it made 
a mess far from unpleasant, which the people soon grew 
very fond of. I myself who have for many months con- 
stantly breakfasted upon the same wheat as the people, either 
received, or thought I received, great benefit from the use of 

1 This paragraph, if not the whole of this discussion, has evidently been 
introduced (by Banks himself) after having visited the Cape. 


this mess. It totally banished that troublesome costiveness 
which I believe most people are subject to when at sea. 
Whether or no this is a more beneficial method of administer- 
ing wort as a preventative than the common, must be left to 
the faculty, especially that excellent surgeon Mr. M'Bride, 
whose ingenious treatise on the sea-scurvy can never be 
sufficiently commended. For my own part I should be 
inclined to believe that the salubrious qualities of the wort 
which arise from fermentation might in some degree at least 
be communicated to the wheat when thoroughly saturated 
with its particles, which would consequently acquire a virtue 
similar to that of fresh vegetables, the greatest resisters of 
sea-scurvy known. 

3rd. We got fast on to the westward, but the compass 
showed that the hearts of our people hanging that way 
caused a considerable north variation, which was sensibly 
felt by our navigators, who called it a current, as they do 
usually everything which makes their reckonings and 
observations disagree. 

5th. The captain told me that he had during this whole 
voyage observed that between the degrees of 40 and 37 
south latitude the weather becomes suddenly milder in a 
very great degree, not only in the temperature of the air, 
but in the strength and frequency of gales of wind, which 
increase very much in going towards 40, and decrease in 
the same proportion as you approach 3*7. 

11th. Went out shooting and killed Diomedea exulans 
and impavida : saw D. profuga; Procellaria melanopus, velox, 
oceanica, vagdbunda, and longipes ; Nectris fuliginosa. Took 
up with dipping - net Mimus volutator, Medusa pelagica, 
Dagysa cornuta, Phyllodoce velella, and ffolothuria oUusata, 
of which last an albatross that I had shot discharged a 
large quantity, incredible as it may appear that an animal 
should feed upon this blubber, whose innumerable stings 
give a much more acute pain to a hand which touches them 
than nettles. 

12th. I again went out in my small boat and shot much 
the same birds as yesterday : took up also chiefly the same 


animals, to which was added Actinia natans. I again saw 
undoubted proofs that the albatrosses eat Holothurice or 
Portuguese men-of-war? as the seamen call them. I had 
also an opportunity of observing the manner in which this 
animal stings. The body consists of a bladder, on the upper 
side of which is fixed a kind of sail, which he erects or 
depresses at pleasure : the edges of this he also at pleasure 
gathers in, so as to make it concave on one side and convex 
on the other, varying the concavity or convexity to which- 
ever side he pleases, for the conveniency of catching the 
wind which moves him slowly upon the surface of the sea 
in any direction he wishes. Under the bladder hang 
down two kinds of strings, one smooth, transparent and harm- 
less, the other full of small round knobs, having much the 
appearance of small beads strung together : these he contracts 
or extends sometimes to the length of four feet. Both these 
and the others are in this species of a lovely ultramarine 
blue, but in the more common one, which is many times 
larger than this, being nearly as large as a goose's egg, they 
are of a fine red. With these latter, however, he does his 
mischief, stinging, or burning, as it is called. If touched by 
any substance they immediately throw out millions of 
exceedingly fine white threads, about a line in length, which 
pierce the skin and adhere to it, giving very acute pain. 
When the animal thrusts them out of the little knobs or 
beads which are not in contact with some substance they can 
pierce, they appear very visibly to the naked eye like small 
fibres of snow-white cotton. 

1 3th. Shooting as usual, but saw no new bird except a 
gannet, which came not near me. Of these for four or five 
days past I have killed a good many ; indeed, during the 
whole time they have been tame and appeared unknowing 
and unsuspicious of men, the generality of them flying to 
the boat as soon as they saw it, which is generally the case 
at great distances from land. Took up Dagysa vitrea and 
gemma, Medusa radiata and porpita, Helix ianthina, very 
large Doris complanata, and Beroe lilola : saw a large shoal 

1 See footnote, p. 15. 


of Esox sconiboides leaping out of the water in a very extra- 
ordinary manner, pursued by a large fish, which I saw but 
could not strike, though I did two of the former. In the 
evening saw several fish much resembling bonitos. 

The weather we have had for these nine days past, and 
the things we have seen upon the sea, are so extraordinary 
that I cannot help recapitulating a little. The weather, in 
the first place, which till the fifth was cool, or rather cold, 
became at once troublesomely hot, bringing with it a mouldy 
dampness such as we experienced between the tropics : the 
thermometer, although it showed a considerable difference 
in the degree of heat, was not nearly so sensible of it as our 
bodies, which I believe is generally the case when a damp 
air accompanies warmth. During the continuance of this 
weather the inhabitants of the tropical seas appeared : 
the tropic bird, flying fish, and Medusa porpita are animals 
very rarely seen out of the influence of trade winds. 
Several others also I have never before seen in so high a 
latitude, and never before in such perfection as now, except 
between the tropics. All these uncommon appearances I 
myself can find no other method of accounting for than the 
uncommon length of time that the wind had remained in 
the eastern quarter before this, which possibly had all that 
time blown home from the trade wind ; and at the same 
time, as it kept the sea in a quiet and still state, had 
brought with it the produce of the climate from which it 

~L9th. With the first daylight this morning the land 1 
was seen ; it made in sloping hills covered in part with 
trees or bushes, but interspersed with large tracts of sand. 
At noon we were sailing along shore, five or six leagues 
from it, with a brisk breeze of wind and cloudy unsettled 
weather, when we were called upon deck to see three water- 
spouts which made their appearance at the same time in 
different places, but all between us and the land. Two, 

1 To the southward of Cape Howe. The most southerly land seen was by 
Captain Cook called Point Hicks. It is not a point, but a hill, still called 
Point Hicks Hill (Wharton's Cook, p. 237, note). 


which were very distant, soon disappeared ; but the third, 
which was about a league from us, lasted fully a quarter of 
an hour. It was a column which appeared of the thickness 
of a mast or a middling tree, and reached down from a 
smoke-coloured cloud about two-thirds of the way to the 
surface of the sea. Under it the sea appeared to be much 
troubled for a considerable space, and from the whole of 
that space arose a dark-coloured thick mist reaching to the 
bottom of the pipe, where it was at its greatest distance 
from the water. The pipe itself was perfectly transparent, 
and much resembled a tube of glass or a column of water, 
if such a thing could be supposed to be suspended in the 
air : it very frequently contracted and dilated, lengthened 
and shortened itself, and that by very quick motions. It 
very seldom remained in a perpendicular direction, but 
generally inclined either one way or the other in a curve, as 
a light body acted upon by the wind is observed to do. 
During the whole time that it lasted, smaller ones seemed 
to attempt to form in its neighbourhood ; at last one almost 
as thick as a rope formed close by it, and became longer 
than the old one, which at that time was in its shortest 
state ; upon this they joined together in an instant, and 
gradually contracting into the cloud, disappeared. 

22nd. We stood in with the land, near enough to dis- 
cern five people, who appeared through our glasses to be 
enormously black : so far did the prejudices which we had 
built on Dampier's account influence us, that we fancied we 
could see their colour when we could scarce distinguish 
whether or not they were men. 

Since we have been on the coast, we have not observed 
those large fires which we so frequently saw in the islands 
and New Zealand, made by the natives in order to clear the 
ground for cultivation : we thence concluded not much in 
favour of our future friends. It has long been an obser- 
vation among us, that the air in this southern hemisphere 
was much clearer than in our northern : these last few days 
at least it has appeared remarkably so. 

2 3rd. Took with the dipping-net Cancer erythrophthalmus, 


Medusa radiata, pelagica ; Dagysa gemma, strumosa, cornuta ; 
HolotJiuria obtusata ; Phyllodoce velella and Mimus volutator. 
The master to-day, in conversation, made a remark on the 
variation of the needle, which struck me much. As to me it 
was new, and appeared to throw much light on the theory 
of that phenomenon. The variation is here very small : he 
says that he has three times crossed the line of no variation, 
and that at all those times, as well as at this, he has 
observed the needle to be very unsteady, moving very easily 
and scarcely at all fixing. This he showed me ; he also told 
me that in several places he had been in, the land had a very 
remarkable effect upon the variation, as in the place we were 
in now : at one or two leagues distant from the shore, the 
variation was two degrees less than at eight leagues distance. 

2*7 th. Some bodies, three feet long and half as broad, 
floated very buoyantly past the ship : they were supposed 
to be cuttle bones, which indeed they a good deal resembled, 
but for their enormous size. 

28th. An opening appearing like a harbour was seen, 
and we stood directly in for it : a small smoke arising from 
a very barren place directed our glasses that way, and we 
soon saw ten people who, on our approach, left the fire, and 
retired to a little eminence, whence they could conveniently 
see the ship. Soon after this two canoes carrying two men 
each landed on the beach under them : the men hauled up 
their boats, and went to their fellows upon the hill. Our boat, 
which had been sent ahead to sound, now approached the 
place, and they all retired higher up the hill. We saw, how- 
ever, that at the beach or landing-place one man at least was 
hidden among some rocks, and never, so far as we could see, left 
that place. Our boat proceeded along shore, and the Indians 
followed her at a distance ; when she came back the officer 
who was in her told me that in a cove, a little within the 
harbour, they came down to the beach and invited our 
people to land by many signs and words which he did not 
at all understand. All, however, were armed with long 
pikes" and a wooden weapon made like a short scimitar. 1 

1 A boomerang. 


During this time, a few of the Indians who had not followed 
the boat remained on the rocks opposite the ship, threaten- 
ing and menacing with their pikes and swords : two in 
particular, who were painted with white, their faces seem- 
ingly only dusted over with it, their bodies painted with 
broad strokes drawn over their breasts and backs, resembling 
much a soldier's cross-belt, and their legs and thighs also 
with broad strokes drawn round them, like broad garters or 
bracelets. Each of these held in his hand a wooden weapon 
about 2^ feet long, in shape much resembling a scimitar ; 
the blades of these looked whitish, and some thought shining, 
insomuch that they were almost of opinion that they were 
made of some kind of metal ; but I thought they were 
only wood smeared over with the white pigment with 
which they paint their bodies. These two seemed to talk 
earnestly together, at times brandishing their crooked 
weapons at us, as in token of defiance. By noon we were 
within the mouth of the inlet, 1 which appeared to be very 
good. Under the south head of it were four small canoes, 
each containing one man, who held in his hand a long 
pole, with which he struck fish, venturing with his little 
embarkation almost into the surf. These people seemed to 
be totally engaged in what they were about : the ship passed 
within a quarter of a mile of them, and yet they scarcely 
lifted their eyes from their employment. I was almost 
inclined to think that, attentive to their business and 
deafened by the noise of the surf, they neither saw nor 
heard her go past. 

We came to an anchor abreast of a small village con- 
sisting of six or eight houses. Soon after this an old woman, 
followed by three children, came out of the wood : she 
carried several pieces of stick, and the children also had 
their little burthens. When she came to the houses, three 
younger children came out of one of them to meet her. She 
often looked at the ship, but expressed neither surprise nor 
concern : she then lighted a fire, and the four canoes came 

1 Botany Bay. It was Banks who, on his return to England, recommended 
the Government to form a penal settlement at this spot. 


in from fishing, the people landed, hauled up their boats 
and began to dress their dinner, to all appearance totally 
unmoved by us, though we were within little more than 
half a mile of them. On all these people whom we had 
seen so distinctly through our glasses, we had been unable 
to observe the least signs of clothing ; myself, to the best of 
my judgment, plainly discerned that the women did not 
copy our mother Eve even in the fig-leaf. 

After dinner the boats were manned, and we set out 
from the ship, intending to land at the place where we saw 
these people, hoping that as they regarded the ship's coming 
into the bay so little, they would as little regard our land- 
ing. "We were in this, however, mistaken ; for as soon as 
we approached the rocks two of the men came down, each 
armed with a lance about 10 feet long, and a short stick, 
which he seemed to handle as though it was a machine to 
throw the lance. They called to us very loudly in a harsh 
sounding language, of which neither we nor Tupia under- 
stood a word, shaking their lances and menacing; in all 
appearance resolved to dispute our landing to the utmost, 
though they were but two, and we thirty or forty at least. 
In this manner we parleyed with them for about a quarter 
of an hour, they waving to us to be gone ; we again signing 
that we wanted water, and that we meant them no harm. 
They remained resolute : so a musket was fired over them, 
the effect of which was that the younger of the two dropped 
a bundle of lances on the rock the instant he heard 
the report. He, however, snatched them up again, and 
both renewed their threats and opposition. A musket 
loaded with small shot was now fired at the elder of the 
two, who was about forty yards from the boat ; it struck 
him on the legs, but he minded it very little, so another 
was immediately fired at him. On this he ran up to the 
house, about a hundred yards distant, and soon returned 
with a shield. In the meantime we had landed on the rock. 
The man immediately threw a lance at us and the young 
man another, which fell among the thickest of us, but hurt 
nobody ; two more muskets with small shot were then fired 


at them, whereupon the elder threw one more lance and 
ran away, as did the other. We went up to the houses, in 
one of which we found the children hidden behind the shield, 
and a piece of bark. 

We were conscious, from the distance the people had 
been from us when we fired, that the shot could have done 
them no material harm ; we therefore resolved to leave the 
children upon the spot without even opening their shelter ; 
we therefore threw into the house to them some beads, 
ribbons, cloth, etc., as presents, and went away. We, how- 
ever, thought it no improper measure to take away with us 
all the lances which we could find about the houses, amount- 
ing in number to forty or fifty. They varied in length from 
6 to 1 5 feet. Both those which were thrown at us, and all 
we found, except one, had four prongs headed with very sharp 
fish bones, which were besmeared with a greenish-coloured 
gum, that at first gave me some suspicion of poison. 

The people were blacker than any we have seen on the 
voyage, though by no means negroes ; their beards were 
thick and bushy, and they seemed to have a redundancy of 
hair upon those parts of the body where it commonly grows. 
The hair of their heads was bushy and thick, but by no 
means woolly like that of a negro. They were of a common 
size, lean, and seemed active and nimble ; their voices were 
coarse and strong. Upon examining the lances we had taken 
from them, we found that most of them had been used in 
striking fish ; at least we concluded so from the seaweed 
which was found stuck in among the four prongs. 

At night many moving lights were seen at different 
parts of the bay ; such we had been used to see at the 
Islands, from hence we supposed that the people here strike 
fish in the same manner. 

29^. The fishing fires, as we supposed them to be, were 
seen during the greater part of the night. In the morning 
we went ashore at the houses, but found not the least good 
effect from our presents yesterday. No signs of people 
were to be seen ; and in the house where the children were 
yesterday, was left everything which we had thrown to them. 


1st May. The captain, Dr. Solander, and myself, and 
some of the people, making in all ten muskets, resolved 
to make an excursion into the country. We accordingly 
did so, and walked till we completely tired ourselves, which 
was in the evening ; seeing by the way only one Indian, who 
ran from us as soon as he saw us. The soil, wherever we 
saw it, consisted of either swamps or light sandy soil, on 
which grew very few species of trees, one, 1 which was large, 
yielding a gum much like Sanguis draconis ; but every place 
was covered with vast quantities of grass. We saw many 
Indian houses, and places where they had slept upon the 
grass without the least shelter. In these we left beads, 
ribbons, etc. We saw one quadruped about the size of a 
rabbit. My greyhound just got sight of him, and instantly 
lamed himself against a stump which lay concealed in the 
long grass. We saw also the dung of a large animal that 
had fed on grass, much resembling that of a stag ; also the 
footprints of an animal clawed like a dog or wolf, and as 
large as the latter, and of a small animal whose feet were 
like those of a polecat or weasel. The trees overhead 
abounded very much with loryquets and cockatoos, of which 
we shot several. 

2nd. The morning was rainy, and we had already so 
many plants that we were well contented to find an 
excuse for staying on board to examine them a little. In 
the afternoon, however, it cleared up, and we returned 
to our old occupation of collecting, in which we had our 
usual good success. Tupia, who strayed from us in pursuit 
of parrots, of which he shot several, told us on his return 
that he had seen nine Indians, who ran from him as soon 
as they perceived him. 

3rd. Our collection of plants was now grown so im- 
mensely large that it was necessary that some extraordinary 
care should be taken of them, lest they should spoil in the 
books. I therefore devoted this day to that business, and 
carried ashore all the drying paper, nearly 200 quires, of 
which the larger part was full, and spreading them upon a 
1 A species of Eucalyptus, or gum tree. 


sail in the sun, kept them in this manner exposed the 
whole day, often turning them, and sometimes turning the 
quires in which were plants inside out. By this means 
they came on board at night in very good condition. During 
this time eleven canoes, in each of which was one Indian, 
came towards us : we soon saw that the people in them 
were employed in striking fish. They came within about 
half a mile of us, intent upon their own employments, and 
not at all regarding us. Opposite the place where they 
were several of our people were shooting : one Indian, 
prompted maybe by curiosity, landed, hauled up his canoe, 
and went towards them. He stayed about a quarter of an 
hour, and then launched his boat and went off. Probably 
that time had been spent behind the trees in watching to 
see what our people did. I could not find, however, that 
he was seen by anybody. 

When the damp of the evening made it necessary to 
send my plants and books on board, I made a short excur- 
sion to shoot anything I could meet with, and found a 
large quantity of quails, much resembling our English ones, 
of which I might have killed as many almost as I pleased, 
had I given my time up to it ; but my business was to kill 
variety, and not too many individuals of any one species. 
The captain and Dr. Solander employed the day in going 
in the pinnace into various parts of the harbour. They 
saw fires at several places, and people who all ran away 
at their approach with the greatest precipitation, leaving 
behind the shell-fish which they were cooking. Of this our 
gentlemen took advantage, eating what they found and 
leaving beads, ribands, etc., in return. They found also 
several trees which bore a fruit of the Jambosa kind, in 
colour and shape much resembling cherries. Of these they 
ate plentifully, and brought home also abundance, which we 
ate with pleasure, though they had little to recommend 
them but a slight acid. 

4=th. Myself in the woods, botanising as usual : now 
quite devoid of fear, as our neighbours have turned out 
such rank cowards. One of our midshipmen, straying by 


himself a long way from any one else, met by accident with 
a very old man and woman and some children. They were 
sitting under a tree, and neither party saw the other till 
they were close together. They showed signs of fear, but 
did not attempt to run away. The midshipman had nothing 
about him to give them but some parrots which he had 
shot. These they refused, drawing away when he offered 
them, in token either of extreme fear or disgust. The 
people were very old and gray-headed, the children young. 
The hair of the man was bushy about his head, and his 
beard long and rough : the woman's hair was cropped short 
round her head. They were very dark-coloured, but not 
black, nor was their hair woolly. 

On our return to the ship we found also that our second 
lieutenant, who had gone out striking, had met with great 
success. He had observed that the large sting-rays, of 
which there are abundance in the bay, followed the flowing 
tide into very shallow water ; he therefore took the oppor- 
tunity, and struck several in not more than two or three 
feet of water. One that was larger than the rest weighed, 
when his guts were taken out, 239 Ibs. 

Our surgeon, who strayed a long way from the others, 
with one man in his company, in coming out of a thicket 
observed six Indians standing about sixty yards from him. 
One of these gave a signal by a word, whereupon a lance 
was thrown out of the wood at him, which, however, did 
not come very near him. The six Indians, on seeing that 
it had not taken effect, ran away in an instant, but on 
turning about towards the place from whence the lance 
came, he saw a young lad, who had undoubtedly thrown 
it, come down from a tree where he had been stationed, 
probably for that purpose. He descended, however, and 
ran away so quickly that it was impossible even to attempt 
to pursue him. 

6th. Went to sea this morning with a fair breeze of wind. 
The land we sailed past during the whole forenoon appeared 
broken and likely for harbours. We dined to-day upon a 
sting-ray weighing 336 Ibs., which was caught yesterday, 


and his tripe. The fish itself was not quite so good as a 
skate, nor was it much inferior. The tripe everybody 
thought excellent. We had it with a dish of the boiled 
leaves of Tetragonia cornuta, which eat as well, or very nearly 
as well, as spinach. 

1*7^. About ten we were abreast of a large bay, 1 
the bottom of which was out of sight. The sea here 
suddenly changed from its usual transparency to a dirty 
clay colour, appearing much as if charged with freshes, from 
whence I was led to conclude that the bottom of the bay 
might open into a large river. About it were many smokes, 
especially on the northern side near some remarkable conical 
hills. 2 At sunset the land made in one bank, over which 
nothing could be seen. It was very sandy, and carried with 
it no signs of fertility. 

~L8th. Land this morning very sandy. We could see 
through our glasses that the sands, which lay in great patches 
of many acres each, were movable. Some of them had been 
lately moved, for trees which stood up in the middle of them 
were quite green. Others of a longer standing had many 
stumps sticking out of them, which had been trees killed 
by the sand heaping about their roots. Few fires were seen. 
Two water snakes swam by the ship. They were beauti- 
fully spotted, and in all respects like land snakes, except 
that they had broad flat tails, which probably serve them 
instead of fins in swimming. 

22nd. In the course of the night the tide rose very con- 
siderably. We plainly saw with our glasses that the land 
was covered with palm-nut trees, Pandanus tectorius, which 
we had not seen since we left the islands within the tropics. 
Along shore we saw two men walking, who took no kind 
of notice of us. 

23rd. Wind blew fresh off the land, so cold that our 
cloaks were very necessary in going ashore. When we landed, 
however, the sun soon recovered its influence, and made it 
sufficiently hot ; in the afternoon intolerably so. We landed 
near the mouth of a large lagoon, 3 which ran a good way 

1 Moreton Bay. 2 The Glass Houses. 3 Bustard Bay. 


into the country, and sent out a strong tide. Here we found 
a great variety of plants, several, however, the same as those 
we ourselves had before seen in the islands between the 
tropics, and others known to be natives of the East Indies, 
a sure mark that we were upon the point of leaving the 
southern temperate zone, and that for the future we must 
expect to meet with plants some of which, at least, had 
been before seen by Europeans. The soil in general was 
very sandy and dry ; though it produced a large variety of 
plants, yet it was never covered with a thick verdure. Fresh 
water we saw none, but several swamps and bogs of salt 
water. In these, and upon the sides of the lagoons, grew 
many mangrove trees, in the branches of which were many 
nests of ants, of which one sort were quite green. These, 
when the branches were disturbed, came out in large numbers, 
and revenged themselves very sufficiently upon their dis- 
turbers, biting more sharply than any I have felt in Europe. 
The mangroves had also another trap which most of us fell 
into. This was a small kind of caterpillar, green and beset 
with many hairs, numbers of which sat together upon the 
leaves, ranged by the side of each other, like soldiers drawn up; 
twenty or thirty, perhaps, on one leaf. If these wrathful 
militia were touched ever so gently, they did not fail to 
make the person offending sensible of their anger, every 
hair in them stinging much as nettles do, but with a more 
acute, though less lasting, smart. 

Upon the sides of the hills were many of the trees yield- 
ing a gum like Sanguis draconis. 1 They differed, however, 
from those seen on the 1st of May, in having their leaves 
longer, and hanging down like those of the weeping willow. 
Notwithstanding that, I believe that they were of the same 
species. There was, however, much less gum upon them. 
Only one tree that I saw had any, contrary to all theory 
which teaches that the hotter a climate is the more gums 
exude. The same observation, however, held good in the 
plant yielding the yellow gum, 2 of which, though we saw 
vast numbers, we did not see any that showed signs of gum 

1 Eucalypti. z Xanthorrhcea : it has not been mentioned before. 


On the shoals and sandbanks near the shore of the bay 
were many large birds, far larger than swans, which we 
judged to be pelicans ; but they were so shy that we could 
not get within gun-shot of them. On the shore were many 
birds ; one species of bustard, of which we shot a single bird, 
was as large as a good turkey. The sea seemed to abound in 
fish, but unfortunately, at the first haul, we tore our seine to 
pieces. On the mud-banks, under the mangrove trees, were 
innumerable oysters, hammer-oysters, and many more sorts, 
among which were a large proportion of small pearl-oysters. 
Whether the sea in deeper water might abound with as 
great a proportion of full-grown ones, we had not an 
opportunity to examine ; but if it did, ^a pearl fishery here 
must turn out to immense advantage. 

24:th. At daybreak we went to sea. At dinner we ate 
the bustard we shot yesterday. It turned out an excellent 
bird, far the best, we all agreed, that we had eaten since we 
left England ; and as it weighed fifteen pounds, our dinner 
was not only good but plentiful. 

26th. We tried in the cabin to fish with hook and line, 
but the water was too shoal (three fathoms) for any fish. 
This want was, however, in some degree supplied by crabs, of 
which vast numbers were on the ground, who readily took 
our baits, and sometimes held them so fast with their claws, 
that they suffered themselves to be hauled into the ship. 
They were of two sorts, Cancer pelagicus, Linn., and another 
much like the former, but not so beautiful. The first was 
ornamented with the finest ultramarine blue conceivable, 
with which all his claws, and every joint, were deeply tinged. 
The under part was of a lovely white, shining as if glazed, and 
perfectly resembling the white of old china. The other 
had a little of the ultramarine on his joints and toes, 
and on his back three very remarkable brown spots. 

In examining a fig which we had found at our last 
going ashore, we found in the fruit a Cynips, very like, 
if not exactly the same species as Cynips sycomori, Linn., 
described by Hasselquist in his Iter Palestinum, a strong 
proof of the fact that figs must be impregnated by means 


of insects, though indeed that fact wanted not any additional 

29th. We went ashore and found several plants which 
we had not before seen ; among them, however, were still 
more East Indian plants than in the last harbour ; one kind 
of grass which we had also seen there was very troublesome 
to us. Its sharp seeds were bearded backwards, and when- 
ever they stuck into our clothes were by these beards pushed 
forward till they got into the flesh. This grass was so 
plentiful that it was hardly possible to avoid it, and, with 
the mosquitos that were likewise innumerable, made walking 
almost intolerable. We were not, however, to be repulsed, 
but proceeded into the country. The gum-trees were like 
those in the last bay, both in leaf and in producing a very 
small proportion of gum; on the branches of them and 
other trees were large ants' nests, made of clay, as big as a 
bushel, something like those described in Sir Hans Sloane's 
History of Jamaica, vol. ii. pp. 221 to 258, but not so smooth. 
The ants also were small, and had white abdomens. In 
another species of tree, Xanthoxyloides mite, a small sort of 
black ant had bored all the twigs, and lived in quantities 
in the hollow part where the pith should be ; the tree 
nevertheless flourishing and bearing leaves and flowers upon 
those very branches as freely and well as upon others that 
were sound. Insects in general were plentiful, butterflies 
especially. With one sort of these, much like P. Semele, Linn., 
the air was for the space of three or four acres crowded to 
a wonderful degree ; the eye could not be turned in any 
direction without seeing millions, and yet every branch and 
twig was almost covered with those that sat still. Of these 
we took as many as we chose, knocking them down with 
our caps, or anything that came to hand. On the leaves 
of the gum-tree we found a pupa or chrysalis, which shone 
as brightly as if it had been silvered over with the most 
burnished silver, which it perfectly resembled. It was 
brought on board, and the next day came out into a 
butterfly of a velvet black changeable to blue ; the wings, 
both upper and under, were marked near the edges with 



many brimstone -coloured spots, those of his under wings 
being indented deeply at each end. 

We saw no fresh water, but several swamps of salt 
overgrown with mangroves ; in these we found some species 
of shells, among them Trochus perspective, Linn. Here also 
was a very singular phenomenon in a small fish of which 
there were great abundance. It was about the size of an 
English minnow, and had two very strong breast fins ; we 
often found it in quite dry places, where maybe it had been 
left by the tide. Upon seeing us it immediately fled from 
us, leaping as nimbly as a frog by means of the breast fins; 
nor did it seem to prefer water to land, for if seen in the 
water he often leaped out and proceeded on dry land, and 
when the water was filled with small stones standing above 
its surface, would leap from stone to stone rather than go 
into the water. In this manner I observed several pass 
over puddles of water and proceed on the other side leaping 
as before. 

In the afternoon we went to the other side of the bay ; if 
anything, the soil was rather better. In neither morning 
nor evening were there any traces of inhabitants ever having 
been where we were, except that here and there trees had 
been burnt down. 

8th June. We passed within a quarter of a mile of a 
small islet or rock, on which we saw with our glasses about 
thirty men, women, and children standing all together, and 
looking attentively at us ; the first people we have seen show 
any signs of curiosity at the sight of the ship. 

10th. Just without us as we lay at anchor was a small 
sandy island lying upon a large coral shoal much resembling 
the low islands to the eastward of us, but the first of the 
kind we had met with in this part of the South Sea. Early 
in the morning we weighed and sailed as usual with a fine 
breeze along shore. While we were at supper she went over 
a bank of seven or eight fathoms of water, which she came 
upon very suddenly ; this we concluded to be the tail of the 
shoals we had seen at sunset, and therefore went to bed in 
perfect security; but scarcely were we warm in our beds 


when we were called up with the alarming news of the 
ship being fast upon a rock, of which she in a few moments 
convinced us by beating very violently against it. Our 
situation became now greatly alarming; we had stood off 
shore three hours and a half with a pleasant breeze, so knew 
we could not be very near it. We were little less than 
certain that we were upon sunken coral rocks, the most 
dreadful of all, on account of their sharp points and 
grinding quality, which cut through a ship's bottom almost 
immediately. The officers, however, behaved with inimitable 
coolness, free from all hurry and confusion. A boat was got 
out in which the master went, and after sounding round the 
ship found that she had run over a rock, and consequently 
had shoal water all round her. All this time she continued 
to beat very much, so that we could hardly keep our legs 
upon the quarter-deck. By the light of the moon we could 
see her sheathing-boards, etc., floating thickly around her, 
and about twelve her false keel came away. 

llth. In the meanwhile all kind of preparations were 
making for carrying out anchors, but by reason of the time it 
took to hoist out boats, etc., the tide ebbed so much that we 
found it impossible to attempt to get her off till next high water, 
if she would hold together so long. We now found to add 
to our misfortune that we had got ashore nearly at the top 
of high water ; and as night tides generally rise higher than 
the day ones we had little hopes of getting off even then. 
For our comfort, however, the ship as the tide ebbed settled 
to the rocks, and did not beat nearly so much as she had 
done. A rock, however, under her starboard bow kept 
grating her bottom, making a noise very plainly to be heard 
in the fore store-rooms ; this we doubted not would make 
a hole ; we only hoped that it might not let in more water 
than we could clear with our pumps. 

In this situation day broke upon us and showed us the 
land about eight leagues off, as we judged ; nearer than that 
was no island or place where we could set foot. Day, how- 
ever, brought with it a decrease of wind, and soon after that 
a flat calm, the most fortunate circumstance that could 


possibly attend people in our circumstances. The tide we 
found had fallen two feet and still continued to fall ; anchors 
were, however, got out and laid ready for heaving as soon 
as the tide should rise, but to our great surprise we could 
not observe it to rise in the least. 

Orders were now given for lightening the ship, which 
was begun by starting our water and pumping it up ; the 
ballast was then got up and thrown overboard as well as 
six of our guns (all that we had upon deck). The seamen 
worked with surprising cheerfulness and alacrity : no 
grumbling or growling was to be heard throughout the 
ship, not even an oath (though the ship was in general as 
well furnished with them as most in His Majesty's service). 
By about one o'clock the water had fallen so low that the 
pinnace touched ground as it lay under the ship's bows ready 
to take in an anchor. After this the tide began to rise, and 
as it rose the ship worked violently upon the rocks, so that 
by two she began to make water, which increased very fast. 
At night the tide almost floated her, but she made water so 
fast that three pumps hard worked could only just keep her 
clear, and the fourth absolutely refused to deliver a drop of 
water. Now, in my opinion, I entirely gave up the ship, 
and packing up what I thought I might save prepared 
myself for the worst. 

The most critical part of our distress now approached ; 
the ship was almost afloat and everything ready to get her 
into deep water, but she leaked so fast that with all our 
pumps we could only just keep her free. If (as was probable) 
she should make more water when hauled off she must sink, 
and we well knew that our boats were not capable of carry- 
ing us all ashore, so that some, probably most of us, must be 
drowned. A better fate, maybe, than those would have who 
should get ashore without arms to defend themselves from 
the Indians or provide themselves with food, in a country 
where we had not the least reason to hope for subsistence, 
so barren had we always found it, and, had they even met 
with good usage from the natives and food to support them, 
debarred from the hope of ever again seeing their native 


country or conversing with any but savages, perhaps the most 
uncivilised in the world. 

The dreadful time now approached, and the anxiety in 
everybody's countenance was visible enough. The capstan 
and windlass were manned, and they began to heave ; the 
fear of death now stared us in the face ; hopes we had none 
but of being able to keep the ship afloat till we could run 
her ashore on some part of the main where out of her 
materials we might build a vessel large enough to carry us 
to the East Indies. At ten o'clock she floated, and was in a 
few minutes hauled into deep water, where to our great satis- 
faction she made no more water than she had done, which 
was indeed full as much as we could manage, though there 
was no one in the ship but who willingly exerted his utmost 

The people who had been twenty -four hours at exceedingly 
hard work now began to flag ; I myself, unused to labour, 
was much fatigued, and had lain down to take a little rest 
when I was awakened about twelve with the alarming news 
of the water having gained so much upon the pumps that 
the ship had four feet of water in her hold. Add to this 
that a regular land breeze blew off the coast, so that all 
hopes of running her ashore were totally cut off. This, 
however, acted upon every one like a charm : rest was no 
more thought of, but the pumps went with unwearied vigour 
till the water was all out, which was done in a much shorter 
time than was expected ; and upon examination it was 
found that she never had half so much water in her as was 
thought, the carpenter having made a mistake in sounding 
the pumps. 

We now began to have some hopes, and talked of getting 
the ship into some harbour when we could spare hands from 
the pumps to get up our anchors ; one bower, however, we 
cut away, but got up the other and three small anchors, far 
more valuable to us than the bowers, as we were obliged im- 
mediately to warp her to windward that we might take 
advantage of the sea breeze to run in-shore. 

One of our midshipmen now proposed an expedient which 


no one else in the ship had seen practised, though all had 
heard of it by the name of fothering a ship, by means of 
which he said he had come home from America in a ship 
which made more water than we did. Nay, so sure was the 
master of that ship of his expedient that he took her out of 
harbour knowing how much water she had made, and trusting 
entirely to it. The midshipman immediately set to work 
with four or five assistants to prepare his fother, which he 
did thus. He took a lower studding sail, and having mixed 
together a large quantity of finely chopped oakum and wool, 
he stitched it down upon the sail as loosely as possible in 
small bundles about as big as his fist ; these were ranged in 
rows four or five inches from each other. This was to be sunk 
under the ship. The theory of it was that wherever the 
leak was there must be a great suction which would probably 
catch hold of one or other of these lumps of oakum and wool 
and, drawing it in, either partly or entirely stop up the hole. 
While this work was going on the water rather gained on 
those who were pumping, which made all hands impatient 
for the trial. In the afternoon the ship was got under way 
with a gentle breeze of wind, and stood in for the land. 
Soon after the fother was finished, and applied by fastening 
ropes to each corner, then sinking the sail under the ship, 
and with these ropes drawing it as far backwards as we could. 
In about a quarter of an hour, to our great surprise, the ship 
was pumped dry, and upon letting the pumps stand she was 
found to make very little water, so much beyond our most 
sanguine expectations had this singular expedient succeeded. 
At night we came to an anchor, the fother still keeping her 
almost clear, so that we were in an instant raised from almost 
despondency to the greatest hopes. We were now almost 
too sanguine, talking of nothing but of getting her into some 
harbour where we might lay her ashore and repair her, or 
if we could not find such a place we little doubted of being 
able by repeated fotherings to carry her quite to the East 

During the whole time of this distress, I must say for 
the credit of our people that I believe every man exerted his 


utmost for the preservation of the ship, contrary to what I 
have universally heard to be the behaviour of seamen, who 
commonly, as soon as a ship is in a desperate situation, 
begin to plunder and refuse all command. This was no 
doubt owing to the cool and steady conduct of the officers, 
who, during the whole time, never gave an order which did 
not show them to be perfectly composed and unmoved by the 
circumstances, however dreadful they might appear. 

14:th. The captain and I went ashore to view a harbour, 
and found it indeed beyond our most sanguine wishes. It 
was the mouth of a river, 1 the entrance of which was, to be 
sure, narrow enough and shallow, but when once in, the 
ship might be moved afloat so near the shore, that by a 
stage from her to it all her cargo might be got out and in 
again in a very short time. In this same place she might 
be hove down with all ease, but the beach showed signs of 
the tides rising in the springs six or seven feet, which was 
more than enough to do our business without that trouble. 

1 6th. Tupia had for the last few days bad gums, which 
were very soon followed by livid spots on his legs and every 
symptom of inveterate scurvy. Notwithstanding acid, bark, 
and every medicine our surgeon could give him, he became 
now extremely ill. Mr. Green, the astronomer, was also in 
a very poor way, which made everybody in the cabin very 
desirous of getting ashore, and impatient at our tedious 

1*7 th. Weather a little less rough than it had been the 
last few days ; weighed and brought the ship in, but in 
doing so ran her ashore twice by the narrowness of the 
channel ; the second time she remained till the tide lifted 
her off. In the meantime Dr. Solander and I began our 
plant -gathering. In the evening the ship was moored 
within twenty feet of the shore, afloat, and before night 
much lumber was got out of her. 

18^. A stage built from the ship much facilitated our 
undertakings. In walking about the country I saw the old 
frames of Indian houses, and places where they had dressed 

1 Endeavour River. 


shell-fish in the same manner as the islanders, but no signs 
that they had been at the place for six months at least. 
The country in general was sandy between the hills, and 
barren, which made walking very easy. Mosquitos there 
were but few, a piece of good fortune in a place where we 
were likely to remain some time. Tupia, who had employed 
himself since we were here in angling, and had lived entirely 
on what he caught, was surprisingly recovered ; poor Mr. 
Green still very ill. Weather blowing hard with showers ; 
had we not got in yesterday we certainly could not have 
done so to-day. 


JUNE 20 AUGUST 26, 1770 

Pumice-stone Ship laid ashore Kangooroos seen White ants Preserving 
plants Chama gigas Fruits thrown up on the beach Excursion 
up the country Making friends with the Indians A kangooroo killed 
Turtle Indians attempt to steal turtle and fire the grass Didelphis 
Among the shoals and islands Lizard Island Signs of natives cross- 
ing from the mainland Ship passes through Cook's passage Outside 
the grand reef Ship almost driven on to the reef by the tides Passes 
inside the reef again Corals Straits between Australia and New Guinea. 

June 20th. Observed that in many parts of the inlet, a good 
way above the high-water mark, were large quantities of 
pumice-stones probably carried there by freshes or extra- 
ordinarily high tides, as they certainly came from the 
sea. Before night the ship was lightened, and we observed 
with great pleasure that the springs, which were now 
beginning to lift, rose as high as we could wish. 

21st. Fine clear weather; began to-day to lay plants in 
sand. 1 By night the ship was quite clear, and in the night's 
tide (which we had constantly observed to be much higher 
than the day's) we hauled her ashore. 

22ra2. In the morning I saw her leak, which was very 
large : in the middle was a hole large enough to have sunk 
a ship with twice our pumps, but here Providence had most 
visibly worked in our favour, for it was in a great measure 
plugged up by a stone as big as a man's fist. Bound the 
edges of this stone had all the water come in, which had so 

1 A mode of preserving for herbarium purposes. 


nearly overcome us, and here we found the wool and oakum, 
or fothering, which had relieved us in so unexpected a 

The effect of this coral rock upon her bottom is difficult 
to describe, but more to believe ; it had cut through her 
plank and deep into one of her timbers, smoothing the 
gashes still before it, so that the whole might easily be 
imagined to have been cut with an axe. 1 

Myself employed all .day in laying in plants; the 
people who were sent to the other side of the water to 
shoot pigeons, saw an animal as large as a greyhound, of a 
mouse colour, and very swift ; 2 they also saw many Indian 
houses, and a brook of fresh water. 

24=th. Gathering plants, and hearing descriptions of the 
animal, which is now seen by everybody. A seaman who 
had been out in the woods brought home the description of 
an animal he had seen, composed in so seamanlike a style 
that I cannot help mentioning it ; " it was (says he) about 
as large and much like a one-gallon cagg, as black as the 
devil, and had two horns on its head ; it went but slowly, 
but I dared not touch it." 

25th. In gathering plants to-day I had the good fortune 
to see the beast so much talked of, though but imperfectly ; 
he was not only like a greyhound in size and running, but 
had a tail as long as any greyhound's; what to liken 
him to I could not tell, nothing that I have seen at all 
resembles him. 

26th. Since the ship has been hauled ashore, the water 
has, of course, all gone backwards; and my plants, which 
for safety had been stowed in the bread room, were this day 
found under water. Nobody had warned me of this danger, 
which never once entered my head. The mischief, however, 
was now done, so I set to work to remedy it to the best of 
my power. The day was scarcely long enough to get them 

1 ' ' The manner these planks were damaged or cut out, as I may say is 
hardly credible ; scarce a Splinter was to be seen, but the whole was cut away 
as if it had been done by the Hands of Man with a blunt -edge Tool."- 
Wharton's Cook, p. 280. 2 A kangaroo. 


all shifted, etc. ; many were saved, but some were entirely 

28tk. We have ever since we have been here observed 
the nests of a kind of ant, much like the white ant in the 
East Indies, but to us perfectly harmless : they were always 
pyramidal, from a few inches to six feet in height, and very 
much resembled the Druidical monuments which I have seen 
in England. To-day we met with a large number of them of 
all sizes ranged in a small open place, which had a very 
pretty effect. Dr. Solander compared them to the runic 
stones on the plains of Upsala in Sweden ; myself to all the 
smaller Druidical monuments I had seen. 

1st July. Our second lieutenant found the husk of a 
cocoanut full of barnacles cast up on the beach; 1 it had 
probably come from some island to windward. 

2nd. The wild plantain trees, though their fruit does not 
serve for food, are to us of a most material benefit. We 
made baskets of their stalks (a thing we had learned from 
the islanders), in which our plants, which would not other- 
wise keep, have remained fresh for two or three days ; 
indeed, in a hot climate it is hardly practicable to manage 
without such baskets, which we call by the island name of 
papa mija. Our plants dry better in paper books than in 
sand, with the precaution that one person is entirely em- 
ployed in attending them. He shifts them all once a day, 
exposes the quires in which they are to the greatest heat of 
the sun, and at night covers them most carefully up from 
any damp, always being careful, also, not to bring them out 
too soon in the morning, or leave them out too late in the 

3rd. The pinnace, which had been sent out yesterday in 
search of a passage, returned to-day, having found a way by 
which she passed most of the shoals that we could see, but 
not all. This passage was also to windward of us, so that 
we could only hope to get there by the assistance of a land 
breeze, of which we have had but one since we lay in the 

1 The absence of the cocoanut palm on the Australian coasts is one of the 
most singular facts in botanical geography. 


place; so this discovery added but little comfort to our 
situation. The crew of the pinnace had, on their return, 
landed on a dry reef, where they found great plenty of shell- 
fish, so that the boat was completely loaded, chiefly with a 
large kind of cockle (Chama gigas), one of which was more 
than two men could eat ; many, indeed, were larger. The 
coxswain of the boat, a little man, declared that he saw on 
the reef a dead shell of one so large that he got into it, and 
it fairly held him. At night the ship floated and was hauled 
off. An alligator was seen swimming alongside of her for 
some tune. As I was crossing the harbour in my small 
boat, we saw many shoals of garfish leaping high out of the 
water, some of which leaped into the boat and were taken. 

5th. Went to the other side of the harbour, and walked 
along a sandy beach open to the trade-wind. Here I found 
innumerable fruits, many of plants I had not seen in this 
country. Among them were some cocoanuts that had been 
opened (as Tupia told us) by a kind of crab called by the 
Dutch Boers krabba (Cancer latro) that feeds upon them. 
All these fruits were incrusted with sea productions, and 
many of them covered with barnacles, a sure sign that they 
have come far by sea, and as the trade-wind blows almost 
right on shore must have come from some other country, 
probably that discovered by Quiros, and called Terra del 
Espiritu Santo [New Hebrides], as the latitudes according to 
his account agree pretty well with ours here. 

6th. Set out to-day with the second lieutenant, resolved 
to go a good way up the river, and see if the country inland 
differed from that near the shore. We went for about three 
leagues among mangroves : then we got into the country, 
which differed very little from what we had already seen. 
The river higher up contracted much, and lost most of its 
mangroves : the banks were steep and covered with trees of 
a beautiful verdure, particularly what is called in the West 
Indies mohoe or bark-tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus). The land was 
generally low, thickly covered with long grass, and seemed 
to promise great fertility, were the people to plant and 
improve it. In the course of the day Tupia saw a wolf, so 


at least I guess by his description, and we saw three of the 
animals of the country, but could not get one ; also a kind 
of bat as large as a partridge, but these also we were not 
lucky enough to get. At night we took up our lodgings 
close to the banks of the river, and made a fire ; but the 
mosquitos, whose peaceful dominions it seems we had invaded, 
spared no pains to molest us as much as was in their power : 
they followed us into the very smoke, nay, almost into the 
fire, which, hot as the climate was, we could better bear the 
heat of than their intolerable stings. Between the hardness 
of our bed, the heat of the fire, and the stings of these inde- 
fatigable insects, the night was not spent so agreeably but 
day was earnestly wished for by all of us. 

*lik. At last it came, and with its first dawn we set out 
in search of game. We walked many miles over the flats 
and saw four of the animals, two of which my greyhound 
fairly chased ; but they beat him owing to the length and 
thickness of the grass, which prevented him from running, 
while they at every bound leaped over the tops of it. We 
observed, much to our surprise, that instead of going upon 
all fours, this animal went only upon two legs, making vast 
bounds just as the jerboa (Mus jaculus : ) does. 

We observed a smoke, but when we came to the place the 
people were gone. The fire was in an old tree of touchwood. 
Their houses were there, and branches of trees broken down, 
with which the children had been playing, were not yet 
withered ; their footsteps, also, on the sands below high-water 
mark proved that they had very lately been there. Near their 
oven, in which victuals had been dressed since noon, were the 
shells of a kind of clam, and the roots of a wild yam which 
had been cooked in it. Thus were we disappointed of the 
only good chance we have had of seeing the people since we 
came here, by their unaccountable timidity. Mght soon 
coming on, we repaired to our quarters, which were upon a 
broad sand-bank under the shade of a bush, where we hoped 
the mosquitos would not trouble us. Our beds of plantain 
leaves spread on the sand, as soft as a mattress, our cloaks 

1 Dipus jaculus. 


for bed-clothes, and grass pillows, but above all the entire 
absence of mosquitos, made me and, I believe, all of us sleep 
almost without intermission. Had the Indians come they 
would certainly have caught us all napping ; but that was 
the last thing we thought of. 

8th. The tide serving at daylight, we set out for the ship. 
On our passage down we met several flocks of whistling 
ducks, of which we shot some. We saw also an alligator 
about seven feet long come out of the mangroves and crawl 
into the water. By four o'clock we arrived at the ship. 

~LQtk. Four Indians appeared on the opposite shore; 
they had with them a canoe made of wood with an out- 
rigger, in which two of them embarked, and came towards 
the ship, but stopped at the distance of a long musket shot, 
talking much and very loud to us. We called to them, 
and waving, made them all the signs we could to come 
nearer. By degrees they ventured almost insensibly nearer 
and nearer till they were quite alongside, often holding up 
their lances as if to show us that if we used them ill they 
had weapons and would return our attack. Cloth, nails, 
paper, etc. etc., were given to them, all which they took 
and put into the canoe without showing the least signs of 
satisfaction. At last a small fish was by accident thrown 
to them, on which they expressed the utmost joy imaginable, 
and instantly putting off from the ship, made signs that 
they would bring over their comrades, which they very soon 
did, and all four landed near us, each carrying in his hand 
two lances, and his stick to throw them with. Tupia went 
towards them ; they stood all in a row in the attitude of 
throwing their lances ; he made signs that they should lay 
them down and come forward without them; this they 
immediately did, and sat down upon the ground. We then 
came up to them and made them presents of beads, cloth, etc., 
which they took, and soon became very easy, only jealous 
if any one attempted to go between them and their arms. 
At dinner-time we made signs to them to come with us 
and eat, but they refused ; we left them, and they going 
into their canoe, paddled back to where they came from. 


11th. The Indians came over again to-day; two that 
were with us yesterday, and two new ones, whom our old 
acquaintance introduced to us by their names, one of which 
was Yaparico. Though we did not yesterday observe it, 
they all had the septum or inner part of the nose bored 
through with a very large hole, in which one of them had 
stuck the bone of a bird as thick as a man's finger, and four 
or six inches long, an ornament no doubt, though to us it 
appeared rather an uncouth one. They brought with them 
a fish which they gave to us, in return I suppose for the 
fish we had given them yesterday. Their stay was but 
short, for some of our gentlemen being rather too curious in 
examining their canoe, they went directly to it, and pushing 
it off, went away without saying a word. 

12th. The Indians came again to-day and ventured down 
to Tupia's tent, where they were so pleased with their 
reception that three stayed, while the fourth went with the 
canoe to fetch two others. They introduced their strangers 
(which they always made a point of doing) by name, and 
had some fish given them ; they received it with indifference, 
signed to our people to cook it for them, which was done, 
ate part and gave the rest to my dog. They stayed 
the best part of the morning, but never ventured to 
go above twenty yards from their canoe. The ribbons 
by which we had tied medals round their necks on the first 
day we saw them, were covered with smoke ; I suppose 
they lay much in the smoke to keep off the mosquitos. 

14tth. Our second lieutenant had the good fortune to kill 
the animal that had so long been the subject of our specula- 
tions. To compare it to any European animal would be 
impossible, as it has not the least resemblance to any one I 
have seen. Its fore-legs are extremely short, and of no use 
to it in walking ; its hind again as disproportionally long ; 
with these it hops seven or eight feet at a time, in the same 
manner as the jerboa, to which animal indeed it bears much 
resemblance, except in size, this being in weight 38 Ibs., and 
the jerboa no larger than a common rat. 

15th. The beast which was killed yesterday was to-day 


dressed for our dinner, and proved excellent meat. In the 
evening the boat returned from the reef, bringing four 
turtles ; so we may now be said to swim in plenty. Our 
turtles are certainly far preferable to any I have eaten in 
England, which must be due to their being eaten fresh from 
the sea before they have either wasted away their fat, or, by 
the unnatural food which they receive in the tubs where 
they are kept, acquired a fat of not so delicious a flavour 
as it is in their wild state. Most of those we have caught 
have been green turtle from two to three hundred pounds 
in weight ; these, when killed, were always found to be full 
of turtle-grass (a kind of Conferva I believe). Two only 
were loggerheads, which made but indifferent meat ; in their 
stomachs were nothing but shells. 

16th. As the ship was now ready for her departure, Dr. 
Solander and I employed ourselves in winding up our 
botanical bottoms, 1 examining what we wanted and making 
up our complement of specimens of as many species as 
possible. The boat brought three turtles again to-day, one 
of which was a male, who was easily to be distinguished 
from the female by the vast size of his tail, which was four 
times longer and thicker than hers ; in every other respect 
they were exactly alike. One of our people on board the 
ship, who had been a turtler in the West Indies, told me 
that they never sent male turtles home to England from 
thence, because they wasted in keeping much more than the 
females, which we found to be true. 

1*7 th. Tupia, who was over the water by himself, saw 
three Indians, who gave him a kind of longish root about 
as thick as a man's finger and of a very good taste. 

18th. The Indians were over with us to-day and seemed 
to have lost all fear of us, becoming quite familiar. One of 
them, at our desire, threw his lance, which was about eight 
feet in length ; it flew with a degree of swiftness and 
steadiness that really surprised me, never being above four 
feet from the ground, and stuck deep in at a distance of 
fifty paces. After this they ventured on board the ship and 

1 i.e. affairs. 


soon became our very good friends, so the captain and I left 
them to the care of those who stayed on board, and went to 
a high hill about six miles from the ship ; here we over- 
looked a great deal of sea to leeward, which afforded a 
melancholy prospect of the difficulties we were to encounter 
when we came out of our present harbour. In whatever 
direction we turned our eyes shoals innumerable were to be 
seen, and no such thing as a passage to the sea, except through 
the winding channels between them, dangerous to the last 

19th. The Indians visited us to-day, and brought with 
them a larger quantity of lances than they had ever done 
before. These they laid up in a tree, leaving a man and a 
boy to take care of them, and came on board the ship. 
They soon let us know their errand, which was by some 
means or other to get one of our turtles, of which we had 
eight or nine lying upon the decks. They first by signs 
asked for one, and on being refused showed great marks of 
resentment. One who asked me, on my refusal, stamping 
with his foot, pushed me from him with a countenance full 
of disdain and applied to some one else. As, however, they 
met with no encouragement in this, they laid hold of a 
turtle and hauled it to the side of the ship where their 
canoe lay. It was, however, soon taken from them and 
replaced ; they nevertheless repeated the experiment two or 
three times, and after meeting with so many repulses, all in 
an instant leaped into their canoe and went ashore, where I 
had got before them, just ready to set out plant-gathering. 
They seized their arms in an instant, and taking fire from 
under a pitch kettle which was boiling, they began to set 
fire to the grass to windward of the few things we had left 
ashore, with surprising dexterity and quickness. The grass, 
which was four or five feet high and as dry as stubble, 
burnt with vast fury. A tent of mine, which had been put 
up for Tupia when he was sick, was the only thing of any 
consequence in the way of it, so I leaped into a boat to 
fetch some people from the ship in order to save it, and 
quickly returning, hauled it down to the beach just in time. 




The captain in the meanwhile followed the Indians to 
prevent their burning our linen and the seine which lay 
upon the grass just where they had gone. He had no 
musket with him, so soon returned to fetch one, for no 
threats or signs would make them desist. Mine was ashore, 
and another loaded with shot, so we ran as fast as possible 
towards them and came up just in time to save the seine by 
firing at an Indian who had already fired the grass in two 
distinct places just to windward of it. On the shot striking 
him, though he was full forty yards away, he dropped his 
fire and ran nimbly to his comrades, who all ran off pretty 

I had little idea of the fury with which the grass burnt 
in this hot climate, nor of the difficulty of extinguishing it 
when once lighted. This accident will, however, be a 
sufficient warning for us, if ever we should again pitch tents 
in such a climate, to burn everything around us before we 

22nd. One of our people who had been sent out to 
gather Indian kale, straying from his party, met with three 
Indians, two men and a boy. He came upon them suddenly 
as they were sitting among some long grass. At first he 
was much afraid, and offered them his knife, the only thing 
he had which he thought might be acceptable to them ; 
they took it, and after handing it from one to another 
returned it to him. They kept him about half an hour, 
behaving most civilly to him, only satisfying their curiosity 
in examining his body, which done, they made him signs 
that he might go away, which he did, very well pleased. 
They had hanging on a tree by them, he said, a quarter of 
the wild animal, and a cockatoo ; but how they had been 
clever enough to take these animals is almost beyond my 
conception, as both of them are most shy, especially the 

23rd. In botanising to-day on the other side of the 
river we accidentally found the greater part of the clothes 
which had been given to the Indians left all in a heap 
together, doubtless as lumber not worth carriage. Maybe 


had we looked further we should have found our other 
trinkets, for they seemed to set no value on anything we 
had except our turtle, which of all things we were the least 
able to spare them. 

24tth. While travelling in a deep valley, the sides of 
which were steep almost as a wall, but covered with trees and 
plenty of brushwood, we found marking-nuts (Anacardium 
orientale) lying on the ground. Desirous as we were to 
find the tree on which they had grown, a thing that I 
believe no European botanist has seen, we were not with all 
our pains able to find it, so after cutting down four or five 
trees, and spending much time, we were obliged to give 
over our hopes. 

26th. While botanising to-day I had the good fortune to 
take an animal of the opossum (Didelphis) tribe ; it was a 
female, and with it I took two young ones. It was not 
unlike that remarkable one which De Buffon has described 
by the name of Phalanger as an American animal. It was, 
however, not the same. M. de Buffon is certainly wrong in 
asserting that this tribe is peculiar to America, and in all 
probability, as Pallas has said in his Zoologia, the Phalanger 
itself is a native of the East Indies, as my animals and that 
agree in the extraordinary conformation of their feet, in 
which particular they differ from all the others. 

2*1 th. This day was dedicated to hunting the wild animal. 
We saw several, and had the good fortune to kill a very 
large one weighing 84 Ibs. 

28th. Botanising with no kind of success, the plants 
were now entirely completed, and nothing new to be found, 
so that sailing is all we wish for, if the wind would but 
allow us. 

IQth August. Fine weather, so the anchor was got up, 
and we sailed down to leeward, hoping there might be a 
passage that way. In this we were much encouraged by 
the sight of some high islands where we hoped the shoals 
would end. By twelve we were among these, and fancied 
that the grand or outer reef ended on one of them, so were 
all in high spirits ; but about dinner-time the people who 


were at the mast-head saw, as they thought, land all round 
us, on which we immediately came to an anchor, resolved to 
go ashore, and from the hills see whether it was so or not. 

The point we went on 1 was sandy and very barren, so 
it afforded very few plants or anything else worth our 
observation. The sand itself, indeed, with which the whole 
country in a manner was covered, was infinitely fine and 
white, but until a glass-house is built here that could be 
turned to no account. We had the satisfaction, however, 
to see that what was taken for land round us proved only a 
number of islands. 

11th. The captain went to-day to one of the islands, 2 
which proved to be five leagues from "the ship. I went 
with him. We passed over two very large shoals, on which 
we saw great plenty of turtle, but we had too much wind 
to strike any. The island itself was high ; we ascended 
the hill, and from the top saw plainly the grand reef still 
extending itself parallel with the shore at about the distance 
of three leagues from us, or eight from the main. Through 
it were several channels exactly similar to those we had 
seen in the islands ; through one of these, which seemed 
most easy, we determined to go. To ascertain, however, 
the practicability of it, we resolved to stay upon the island 
all night, and at daybreak send a boat to sound one of 
them, which was accordingly done. We slept under the 
shade of a bush that grew upon the beach very comfortably. 

12th. Great part of yesterday and all this morning till 
the boat returned I employed in searching the island. On 
it I found some few plants which I had not before seen. 
The island itself was small and barren ; there was, however, 
one small tract of woodland which abounded very much 
with large lizards, some of which I took. Distant as this 
isle was from the main, the Indians had been here in their 
poor embarkations, a sure sign that some part of the year 
must have very settled fine weather. We saw seven or 
eight frames of their huts, and vast piles of shells, the fish 
of which had, I suppose, been their food. All the houses 

1 Cape Flattery. 2 Lizard Island. 


were built upon the tops of eminences, exposed entirely to 
the S.E., contrary to those of the main, which are commonly 
placed under some bushes or hillside to break the wind. 
The officer who went in the boat returned with an account 
that the sea broke vastly high upon the reef, and that the 
swell was so great in the opening that he could not go into 
it to sound ; this was sufficient to assure us of a safe passage 
out ; so we got into the boat to return to the ship in high 
spirits, thinking our dangers now at an end, as we had a 
passage open for us to the main sea. On our return we 
went ashore on a low island, 1 where we shot many birds : 
on it was the nest of an eagle, the young ones of which we 
killed ; and another I knew not of what bird, built on the 
ground, of a most enormous magnitude : it was in circum- 
ference 2 6 feet, and in height 2 feet 8 inches,' built of sticks. 2 
The only bird I have seen in this country capable of build- 
ing such a nest seems to be the pelican. The Indians had 
been here likewise and lived upon turtle, as we could plainly 
see by the heaps of callipashes [carapaces] piled up in many 
parts of the island. Our master, who had been sent to leeward 
to examine that passage, went ashore upon a low island, where 
he slept ; such great plenty of turtle had the Indians had 
when there, that they had hung up the fins with the meat 
left on them on trees, where the sun had dried them so well 
that our seamen eat them heartily. He saw also two spots 
clear of grass, which had lately been dug up; they were 
about seven feet long and shaped like a grave, for which 
indeed he took them. 

13th. Ship stood out for the opening 3 we had seen in 
the reef, and about two o'clock passed through it ; it was 
about half a mile wide. As soon as the ship was well within 
it, we had no ground with 100 fathoms of line, so became in 
an instant quite easy, being once more in the main ocean, 
and subsequently freed from all fears of shoals, etc. 

I4:th. For the first time these three months we were this 

1 Eagle Island. 

2 No doubt the nest of the Jungle bird, a species of Megapodium. 
3 Cook's passage. 


day out of sight of land, to our no small satisfaction. A 
reef such as we have just passed is a thing scarcely known 
in Europe, or indeed anywhere but in these seas. It is a 
wall of coral rock, rising almost perpendicularly out of the 
unfathomable ocean, always covered at high- water, commonly 
by seven or eight feet, and generally bare at low-water. 
The large waves of the vast ocean meeting with so sudden 
a resistance make here a most terrible surf, breaking moun- 
tains high, especially when, as in our case, the general trade- 
wind blows directly upon it. 

16th. At three o'clock this morning it dropped calm, 
which did not better our situation, for we were not more 
than four or five leagues from the reef; towards which the 
swell drove us. By six o'clock we were within a cable 
length of the reef, so fast had we been driven on it, without 
our being able to find ground with 100 fathoms. The boats 
were got out, to try if they could tow the ship off, but we 
were within forty yards when a light air sprang up, and 
moved the ship off a little. The boats being now manned 
tried to tow her away, but, whenever the air dropped, they 
only succeeded in keeping the ship stationary. We now 
found what had been the real cause of our escape, namely, 
the turn of the tide. It was the flood that had hurried us 
so unaccountably fast to the reef, which we had almost 
reached just at high- water. The ebb, however, aided by the 
boats' crews, only carried us about two miles from the reef, 
when the tide turned again, so that we were in no better 
situation. No wind would have been of any use, for we 
were so embayed by the reef that with the general trade- 
wind it would have been impossible to get out. Fortunately 
a narrow opening in the reef was observed, and a boat sent 
to examine it reporting that it was practicable the other 
boats meanwhile struggling against the flood the ship's 
head was turned towards it, and we were carried through 
by a stream like a mill-race. By four o'clock we came to 
an anchor, happy once more to encounter those shoals which 
but two days before we had thought ourselves supremely 
happy to have escaped from. 


As we were now safe at an anchor, the boats were sent upon 
the nearest shoal to search for shell-fish, turtle, or whatever 
else they could get; Dr. Solander and I accompanied them 
in my small boat. On our way we met with two water- 
snakes, one five and the other six feet long : we took them 
both. They much resembled land snakes, only their tails 
were flattened sideways, I suppose, for the convenience of 
swimming, and they were not venomous. The shoal we 
went upon was the very reef we had so nearly been lost 
upon yesterday, now no longer terrible to us. It afforded 
little provision for the ship, no turtle, only 300 Ibs. of great 
cockles ; some of an immense size. We had in the way of 
curiosity much better success, meeting with many curious 
fish and mollusca, besides corals of many species, all alive, 
among which was the Tulipora musica. I have often 
lamented that we had not time to make proper observations 
upon this curious tribe of animals ; but we were so entirely 
taken up with the more conspicuous links of the chain of 
creation, as fish, plants, birds, etc. etc., that it was impossible. 

21st. We observed both last night and this morning that 
the main looked very narrow, 1 so we began to look out for 
the passage we expected to find between New Holland and 
New Guinea. At noon one was seen, very narrow but 
appearing to widen ; we resolved to try it, so stood in. The 
anchor was dropped, and we went ashore 2 to examine whether 
the place we stood into was a bay or a passage ; for as we 
sailed right before the trade-wind, we might find difficulty 
in getting out, should it prove to be the former. The hill 
gave us the satisfaction of seeing a strait, at least as far 
as we could see, without any obstructions : in the evening 
a strong tide made us almost certain. 3 

26th. Fine weather and clear fresh trade: stood to the 
W. and deepened our water from 13 to 2*7 fathoms. 

1 York Peninsula. 2 On Possession Island. 

3 Banks does not allude to Cook having here hoisted English colours 
and taken possession of the whole east coast of Australia from 38 S. to 
Cape York in the name of the king, as he had of several other places along 
the coast (Wharton's Cook, p. 312). Neither Cook nor Banks was aware that 
Torres had sailed through these straits in 1606 (see p. li.) 



General appearance of the coast Dampier's narrative Barrenness of the 
country Scarcity of water Vegetables and fruits Timber Palms 
Gum trees Quadrupeds Birds Insects Ants and their habitations 
Fish Turtle Shell-fish Scarcity of people Absence of cultivation 
Description of natives Ornaments Absence of vermin Implements for 
catching fish Food Cooking Habitations Furniture Vessels for 
carrying water Bags Tools Absence of sharp instruments Native 
method of procuring fire Weapons Throwiug-sticks Shield Cowardice 
of the people Canoes Climate Language. 

HAVING now, I believe, fairly passed through between New 
Holland and New Guinea, and having an open sea to the 
westward, so that to-morrow we intend to steer more to the 
northwards in order to make the south coast of New Guinea, 
it seems high time to take leave of New Holland, which I 
shall do by summing up the few observations I have been 
able to make on the country and people. I much wished, 
indeed, to have had better opportunities of seeing and 
observing the people, as they differ so much from the account 
that Dampier (the only man I know of who has seen them 
besides us) has given of them : he indeed saw them on 
a part of the coast very distant from where we were, 
and consequently the people might be different; but I 
should rather conclude them to be the same, chiefly from 
having observed an universal conformity in such of their 

1 This chapter is thus entitled by Banks. The name "New Wales" was 
bestowed by Cook on the whole eastern coast from lat. 38 S. to Cape York : 
the Admiralty copy of Cook's Journal, and that belonging to Her Majesty, 
call it "New South Wales" (Wharton's Cook, p. 312). 


customs as came under my observation in the several 
places we landed upon during the run along the coast. 
Dampier in general seems to be a faithful relater ; but in 
the voyage in which he touched on the coast of New 
Holland he was in a ship of pirates ; possibly himself not a 
little tainted by their idle examples, he might have kept no 
written journal of anything more than the navigation of the 
ship, and when upon coming home he was solicited to publish 
an account of his voyage, may have referred to his memory 
for many particulars relating to the people, etc. These 
Indians, when covered with their filth, which I believe they 
never wash off, are, if not coal black, very near it. As negroes, 
then, he might well esteem them, and add the woolly hair 
and want of two front teeth in consequence of the similitude 
in complexion between these and the natives of Africa ; but 
from whatever cause it might arise, certain it is that 
Dampier either was very much mistaken in his account, 
or else saw a very different race of people from those we 
have seen. 

In the whole length of coast which we sailed along, there 
was a very unusual sameness to be observed in the face of 
the country. Barren it may justly be called, and in a very 
high degree, so far at least as we saw. The soil in general 
is sandy and very light ; on it grow grass, tall enough but 
thin set, and trees of a tolerable size ; never, however, near 
together, being in general 40, 50, and 60 feet apart. 
This, and spots of loose sand, sometimes very large, con- 
stitute the general face of the country as you sail along it, 
and indeed the greater part even after penetrating inland 
as far as our situation would allow us to do. The banks of 
the bays were generally clothed with thick mangroves, some- 
times for a mile or more in breadth. The soil under these 
is rank mud, always overflowed every spring tide. Inland 
you sometimes meet with a bog upon which the grass grows 
rank and thick, so that no doubt the soil is sufficiently 
fertile. The valleys also between the hills, where runs of 
water come down, are thickly clothed with underwood ; but 
they are generally very steep and narrow, so that upon the 


whole the fertile soil bears no kind of proportion to that 
which seems by nature doomed to everlasting barrenness. 

Water is a scarce article, or at least was so while 
we were there, which I believe to have been in the very 
height of the dry season. At some places we were in 
we saw not a drop, and at the two places where we filled 
for the ship's use it was done from pools, not brooks. This 
drought is probably owing to the dryness of a soil almost 
entirely composed of sand, in which high hills are scarce. 
That there is plenty, however, in the rainy season is 
sufficiently evinced by the channels we saw cut even in 
rocks down the sides of inconsiderable hills : these were in 
general dry, or if any of them contained water, it was such 
as ran in the woody valleys, and they seldom carried water 
above half-way down the hill. Some, indeed, we saw that 
formed brooks, and ran quite down to the sea ; but these 
were scarce and in general brackish a good way up from the 

A soil so barren, and at the same time entirely void of 
the help derived from cultivation, could not be supposed to 
yield much to the support of man. We had been so long 
at sea with but a scanty supply of fresh provisions, that we 
had long been used to eat everything we could lay our 
hands upon, fish, flesh, and vegetables, if only they were not 
poisonous. Yet we could only now and then procure a dish 
of bad greens for our own table, and never, except in the 
place where the ship was careened, did we meet with a 
sufficient quantity to supply the ship. There, indeed, palm 
cabbage, and what is called in the West Indies Indian kale, 
were in tolerable plenty ; as also was a sort of purslane. 
The other plants which we ate were a kind of bean (very 
bad), a kind of parsley, and a plant something resembling 
spinach, which two last grew only to the southward. I 
shall give their botanical names, as I believe some of them 
were never eaten by Europeans before : Indian kale (Arum 
esculentum), red-flowered purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum), 
beans (Grlycine speciosa), parsley (Apivm), spinach (Tetragonia 

1770 PLANTS 299 

We had still fewer fruits; to the southwards was one 
somewhat resembling a heart cherry (Eugenia), only the 
stone was soft : it had nothing but a slight acid to re- 
commend it. To the northward, we had a kind of very 
indifferent fig (Ficus caudiciflora) growing from the stalk of 
a tree, a fruit we called plums like them in colour, but 
flat like a little cheese and another much like a damson 
both in appearance and taste. Both these last, however, 
were so full of a large stone, that eating them was but an 
unprofitable business. "Wild plantains we had also, but so 
full of seeds that they had little or no pulp. 

For the article of timber there is certainly no want of 
trees of more than the middling size, and some in the 
valleys are very large, but all of a very hard nature. Our 
carpenters, who cut them down for firewood, complained 
much that their tools were damaged by them. Some trees 
there are also to the northward, whose soft bark, which 
easily peels off, is in the East Indies used for caulking ships 
in lieu of oakum. 

Palms here are of three different sorts : the first, 1 which 
grew plentifully to the southward, has leaves plaited like a 
fan ; the cabbage of these is small, but exquisitely sweet, 
and the nuts which it bears in great abundance make a very 
good food for hogs. The second is very like the real 
cabbage tree of the "West Indies, bearing pinnated leaves 
like those of a cocoanut : this also yields cabbage, which, if 
not so sweet as the other sort, yet makes ample amends in 
quantity. The third, 2 which like the second is found only 
in the northern parts, is low, seldom 10 feet in height, 
with small pinnated leaves resembling those of some kinds 
of fern. Cabbage it has none, but generally bears a plenti- 
ful crop of nuts, about the size of a large chestnut, and 
rounder. By the hulls of these, which we found plentifully 
near the Indian fires, we were assured that these people ate 
them, and some of our gentlemen tried to do the same, but 
were deterred from a second experiment by a hearty fit of 
vomiting. The hogs, however, which were still shorter of 

1 Livistona australis, Mart. 2 Gycas media, Br. 


provision than we were, ate them heartily, and we con- 
sidered their constitutions stronger than ours, until after 
about a week they were all taken extremely ill of indigestion ; 
two died, and the rest were saved with difficulty. 

Other useful plants we saw none, except perhaps two, 
which might be found so, yielding resin in abundance. The 
one, 1 a tree tolerably large, with narrow leaves not unlike a 
willow, was plentiful in every place into which we went, 
and yielded a blood-red resin or rather gum-resin, very 
nearly resembling Sanguis draconis; indeed, as Sanguis 
draconis is the produce of several different plants, this may 
be perhaps one of the sorts. This I should suppose to be 
the gum mentioned by Dampier in his voyage round the 
world, and by him compared with Sanguis draconis, as 
possibly also that which Tasman saw upon Van Diemen's 
Land, where he says he saw gum on the trees, and gum lac 
on the ground. (See his voyage in a collection published at 
London in 1694, p. 133.) The other 2 was a small plant 
with long narrow grassy leaves and a spike of flowers 
resembling much that kind of bulrush which is called in 
England cat's tail : this yielded a resin of a bright yellow 
colour perfectly resembling gamboge, only that it did not 
stain ; it had a sweet smell, but what its properties are the 
chemists may be able to determine. 

Of plants in general the country affords a far larger 
variety than its barren appearance seemed to promise : 
many of these no doubt possess properties which might be 
useful for physical and economical purposes, which we were 
not able to investigate. Could we have understood the 
Indians, or made them by any means our friends, we might 
perchance have learnt some of these ; for though their man- 
ner of life, but one degree removed from brutes, does not 
seem to promise much, yet they had some knowledge of plants, 
as we could plainly perceive by their having names for them. 

Thus much for plants. I have been rather particular 
in mentioning those which we ate, hoping that such a 
record might be of use to some or other into whose hands 

1 Eucalyptus. 2 Xanthorrlwsa. 

1770 ANIMALS 301 

these papers fall. For quadrupeds, birds, fish, etc., I 
shall say no more than that we had some time ago learned 
to eat every single species which came in our way ; a 
hawk or a crow was to us as delicate, and perhaps a better- 
relished meal, than a partridge or pheasant to those who 
have plenty of dainties. We wanted nothing to recommend 
any food but its not being salt ; that alone was sufficient to 
make it a delicacy. Shags, sea-gulls, and all that tribe of 
sea-fowl which are reckoned bad from their trainy or fishy 
taste, were to us an agreeable food : we did not at all taste 
the rankness, which no doubt has been and possibly will 
again be highly nauseous to us, whenever we have plenty of 
beef and mutton, etc. 

Quadrupeds we saw but few, and were able to catch but 
few of those we did see. The largest was called by the 
natives kangooroo ; it is different from any European, and, 
indeed, any animal I have heard or read of, except the jerboa 
of Egypt, which is not larger than a rat, while this is as 
large as a middling lamb. The largest we shot weighed 
84 Ibs. It may, however, be easily known from all other 
animals by the singular property of running, or rather 
hopping, upon only its hinder legs, carrying its fore-feet close 
to its breast. In this manner it hops so fast that in the 
rocky bad ground where it is commonly found, it easily 
beat my greyhound, who, though he was fairly started at 
several, killed only one, and that quite a young one. Another 
animal was called by the natives je-quoll ; it is about the 
size of, and something like, a pole-cat, of a light brown, 
spotted with white on the back, and white under the belly. 
The third was of the opossum kind, and much resembled 
that called by De Buffon PJialanger. Of these two last I 
took only one individual of each. Bats here were many : 
one small one was much if not identically the same as 
that described by De Buffon under the name of Fer de 
cheval. Another sort was as large as, or larger than, 
a* partridge ; but of this species we were not fortunate 
enough to take one. We supposed it, however, to be the 
Eousette or Rougette of the same author. Besides these, 


wolves were, I believe, seen by several of our people, and 
some other animals described ; but from the unintelligible 
style of the describers, I could not even determine whether 
they were such as I myself had seen, or of different kinds. 
Of these descriptions I shall insert one, as it is not unenter- 

A seaman who had been out on duty declared that he 
had seen an animal about the size of, and much like a one- 
gallon cagg. " It was," says he, " as black as the devil, and 
had wings, indeed I took it for the devil, or I might easily 
have catched it, for it crawled very slowly through the 
grass." After taking some pains, I found out that the 
animal he had seen was no other than the large bat. 

Of sea-fowl there were several species : gulls, shags, 
solan geese or gannets of two sorts, boobies, etc., and pelicans 
of an enormous size ; but these last, though we saw many 
thousands of them, were so shy that we never got one, as 
were the cranes also, of which we saw several very large 
and some beautiful species. In the rivers were ducks 
which flew in very large flocks, but were very hard to come 
at ; and on the beach were curlews of several sorts, some 
very like our English ones, and many small beach birds. 
The land birds were crows, very like if not quite the same 
as our English ones, most beautiful parrots and parroquets, 
white and black cockatoos, pigeons, beautiful doves, bustards 
and many others which did not at all resemble those of 
Europe. Most of these were extremely shy, so that it was 
with difficulty that we shot any of them. A crow in Eng- 
land, though in general sufficiently wary, is, I must say, a 
fool to a New Holland crow, and the same may be said of 
almost all if not all the birds in the country. The only 
ones we ever got in any plenty were pigeons, of which we 
met large flocks, and of which the men who were sent out 
on purpose would sometimes kill ten or twelve a day. They 
were beautiful birds, crested differently from any other 
pigeon I have seen. What can be the reason of this extra- 
ordinary shyness in the birds is difficult to say, unless 
perhaps the Indians are very clever in deceiving them, 

1770 ANTS 303 

which we have very little reason to suppose, as we never 
saw any instrument with them with which a bird could be 
killed or taken, except their lances, and these must be very 
improper tools for the purpose. Yet one of our people saw 
a white cockatoo in their possession, which very bird we 
looked upon to be one of the wariest of them all. 

Of insects there were but few sorts, and among them 
only the ants were troublesome to us. Mosquitos, indeed, 
were in some places tolerably plentiful, but it was our good 
fortune never to stay any time in such places. The ants, 
however, made ample amends for the want of the mosquitos ; 
two sorts in particular, one green as a leaf, and living upon 
trees, where it built a nest, in size between that of a man's 
head and his fist, by bending the leaves together, and gluing 
them with a whitish papery substance which held them 
firmly together. In doing this their management was most 
curious : they bend down four leaves broader than a man's 
hand, and place them in such a direction as they choose. 
This requires a much larger force than these animals seem 
capable of; many thousands indeed are employed in the 
joint work. I have seen as many as could stand by one 
another, holding down such a leaf, each drawing down with 
all his might, while others within were employed to fasten 
the glue. How they had bent it down, I had not an oppor- 
tunity of seeing, but that it was held down by main strength, 
I easily proved by disturbing a part of them, on which the 
leaf, bursting from the rest, returned to its natural situation, 
and I had an opportunity of trying with my finger the 
strength that these little animals must have used to get it 
down. But industrious as they are, their courage, if possible, 
excels their industry ; if we accidentally shook the branches 
on which such a nest was hung, thousands would immedi- 
ately throw themselves down, many of which falling upon 
us made us sensible of their stings and revengeful disposi- 
tions, especially if, as was often the case, they got possession 
of our necks and hair. Their stings were by some esteemed 
not much less painful than those of a bee ; the pain, how- 
ever, lasted only a few seconds. 


Another sort there were, quite black, whose manner of 
living was most extraordinary. They inhabited the inside 
of the branches of one sort of tree, the pith of which they 
hollowed out almost to the very end of the branches, 
nevertheless the tree flourished as well to all appearance 
as if no such accident had happened to it. When first we 
found the tree, we of course gathered the branches, and were 
surprised to find our hands instantly covered with legions of 
these small animals, who stung most intolerably ; experience, 
however, taught us to be more careful for the future. 
Eumphius mentions a similar instance to this in his 
Herbarium Amboinense, vol. ii. p. 257; his tree, however, 
does not at all resemble ours. 

A third sort nested inside the root of a plant which 
grew upon the bark of trees in the same manner as mistletoe. 1 
The root was the size of a large turnip, and often much 
larger ; when cut, the inside showed innumerable winding 
passages in which these animals lived. The plant itself 
throve to all appearance not a bit the worse for its numer- 
ous inhabitants. Several hundreds have I seen, and never 
one but what was inhabited ; though some were so young as 
not to be much larger than a hazel nut. The ants them- 
selves were very small, not above half as large as our red 
ants in England ; they sting indeed, but so little that it was 
scarcely felt. The chief inconvenience in handling the roots 
came from the infinite number ; myriads would come in an 
instant out of many holes, and running over the hand tickle 
so as to be scarcely endurable. Rumphius has an account 
of this very bulb and its ants in vol. vi. p. 120, where he 
describes also another sort, the ants of which are black. 

The fourth kind were perfectly harmless, at least 
they proved so to us, though they resembled almost 
exactly the white ants of the East Indies, the most 
mischievous insect I believe known in the world. Their 
architecture was, however, far superior to that of any other 
species. They had two kinds of houses, one suspended on 
the branches of trees, the other standing upright on the 

1 Species of Myrmecodia or Hydnophytum. 

1770 ANTS' NESTS 305 

ground. The first sort were generally three or four times 
as large as a man's head ; they were built of a brittle 
substance, seemingly made of small parts of vegetables 
kneaded together with some glutinous matter, probably 
afforded by themselves. On breaking this outer crust in- 
numerable cells appeared, full of inhabitants, winding in all 
directions, communicating with each other, as well as with 
divers doors which led from the nest. From each of these 
an arched passage led to different parts of the tree, and 
generally one large one to the ground. This I am inclined 
to believe communicated with the other kind of house, for 
as the animals inhabiting both were precisely the same, I 
see no reason why they should be supposed, contrary to 
every instance that I know in nature, to build two different 
kinds of houses, unless, according to the season, prey, etc., 
they inhabited both equally. 

This second kind of house was very often built near the 
foot of a tree, on the bark of which their covered ways, 
though but seldom the first kind of house, were always to 
be found. It was formed like an irregularly sided cone, and 
was sometimes more than six feet high, and nearly as much 
in diameter. The smaller ones were generally flat-sided, 
and resembled very much the old stones which are seen in 
many parts of England, and supposed to be remains of 
Druidical worship. The outer coat of these was 2 inches 
thick at least, of hard, well-tempered clay, under which were 
their cells ; to these no doors were to be seen. All their 
passages were underground, where probably they were 
carried on till they met the root of some tree, up which they 
ascended, and so up the trunks and branches by the covered 
way before mentioned. These I should suppose to be the 
houses to which they retire in the winter season, as they are 
undoubtedly able to defend them from any rain that can 
fall, while the others, though generally built under the 
shelter of some overhanging branch, must, from the thinness 
of the covering, be but a slight defence against a heavy rain. 

Thus much for the ants, an industrious race which in all 
countries have for that reason been admired by man, though 



probably in no country more admirable than in this. The 
few observations I have written down concerning them are 
chiefly from conjecture, and therefore are not at all to be 
depended upon. Were any man, however, to settle here 
who had time and inclination to observe their economy, I 
am convinced that it would far exceed that of any insects 
we know, not excepting our much-admired bees. 

The sea, however, made some amends for the barren- 
ness of the land. Fish, though not so plentiful as they 
generally are in the higher latitudes, were far from scarce ; 
when we had an opportunity of hauling the seine we 
generally caught from 50 to 200 Ibs. of fish in a tide. The 
kinds were various, none I think but mullets being known in 
Europe. In general, however, they were sufficiently palat- 
able, and some very delicate food. The sting-rays, indeed, 
which were caught on the southern part of the coast were 
very coarse ; so that, as little else was caught there, we 
were obliged to be satisfied with the comforts of plenty, 
and enjoy more pleasure in satiety than in eating. To the 
northward again, when we were entangled within the great 
reef, was a quantity of turtle hardly to be credited, every 
shoal swarmed with them. The weather indeed was gener- 
ally so boisterous, that our boats could not row after them 
as fast as they could swim, so that we got but few ; but 
they were excellent, and so large that a single turtle always 
served for the whole ship. Had we been there either at 
the time of laying or in a more moderate season, we might 
doubtless have taken any quantity. All the shoals that 
were dry at half ebb afforded plenty of fish, left dry in 
small hollows of the rocks, and a profusion of large shell-fish 
(Chama gig as) such as Dampier describes, vol. iii. p. 191. 
The largest of these had ten or fifteen pounds of meat 
in them; it was indeed rather strong, but I believe a 
very wholesome food, and well relished by the people in 
general. On different parts of the coast were also found 
oysters, which were said to be very well tasted ; the shells 
also of good-sized lobsters and crabs were seen, but these it 
was never our fortune to catch. 


Upon the whole, New Holland, though in every respect 
the most barren country I have seen, is not so bad but that 
between the productions of sea and land, a company who 
had the misfortune to be shipwrecked upon it might support 
themselves, even by the resources that we have seen : un- 
doubtedly a longer stay and a visit to different parts would 
discover many more. 

This immense tract of land, the largest known which 
does not bear the name of a continent, as it is considerably 
larger than all Europe, is thinly inhabited, even to admira- 
tion, at least that part of it that we saw. We never but 
once saw so many as thirty Indians together, and that was 
a family, men, women, and children, assembled upon a rock 
to see the ship pass by. At Sting-ray's Bay, 1 where they 
evidently came down several times to fight us, they never 
could muster above fourteen or fifteen fighting men, indeed 
in other places they generally ran away from us, whence it 
might be concluded that there were greater numbers than 
we saw, but their houses and sheds in the woods, which we 
never failed to find, convinced us of the smallness of their 
parties. We saw, indeed, only the sea coast; what the 
immense tract of inland country may produce is to us 
totally unknown. We may have liberty to conjecture, how- 
ever, that it is totally uninhabited. The sea has, I 
believe, been universally found to be the chief source of 
supplies to Indians ignorant of the arts of cultivation. The 
wild produce of the land alone seems scarcely able to 
support them at all seasons, at least I do not remember to 
have read of any inland nation who did not cultivate the 
ground more or less : even the North Americans, who are 
so well versed in hunting, sow their maize. But should 
a people live inland, who supported themselves by cultiva- 
tion, these inhabitants of the sea coast must certainly have 
learned to imitate them in some degree at least, otherwise 
their reason must be supposed to hold a rank little superior 
to that of monkeys. 

What may be the reason of this absence of people is 

1 Afterwards called Botany Bay. 


difficult to guess, unless it be the barrenness of the soil and 
the scarcity of fresh water. But why should not mankind 
increase here as fast as in other places, unless their small 
tribes have frequent wars in which many are destroyed ? 
They were indeed generally furnished with plenty of 
weapons, whose points of the stings of sting-rays seemed 
intended for use against none but their own species. 

That their customs are nearly the same throughout the 
whole length of the coast along which we sailed, I should 
think very probable, though we had connections with them 
at only one place. Yet we saw them with our eyes or 
glasses many times, and at Sting -ray's Bay had some 
experience of their manners. Their colour, arms, and 
method of using them were the same as those we after- 
wards had a nearer view of. They likewise in the same 
manner went naked, and painted themselves, their houses 
were the same, they notched large trees in the same manner, 
and even the bags they carried their furniture in were of 
exactly the same manufacture, something between netting 
and knitting, which I have nowhere else seen. In the 
intermediate places our glasses might deceive us in many 
things, but their colour and want of clothes we certainly 
did see, and whenever we came ashore the houses and sheds, 
places where they had dressed victuals with heated stones, 
and trees notched for the convenience of climbing them, 
sufficiently evinced them to be the same people. 

The tribe with which we had connections consisted of 
twenty-one people, twelve men, seven women, a boy and a 
girl ; so many at least we saw, and there might have been 
more, especially women, whom we did not see. The men 
were remarkably short and slenderly built in proportion ; 
the tallest we measured was 5 feet 9 inches, the 
shortest 5 feet 2 inches ; the average height seemed to 
be about 5 feet 6 inches. What their absolute colour 
is, is difficult to say, they were so completely covered with 
dirt, which seemed to have stuck to their hides from the 
day of their birth, without their once having attempted to 
remove it. I tried indeed by spitting upon my finger and 


rubbing, but altered the colour very little, which as nearly 
as might be resembled chocolate. The beards of several 
were bushy and thick ; their hair, which as well as their 
beards was black, they wore close cropped round their ears. 
In some it was as lank as an European's, in others a little 
crisped, as is common in the South Sea Islands, but in none 
of them at all resembling the wool of the negroes. They 
had also all their fore teeth, in which two points they differ 
chiefly from those seen by Dampier, supposing him not to 
be mistaken. As for colour they would undoubtedly be 
called black by any one not used to consider attentively 
the colours of different nations. I myself should never 
have thought of such distinctions, had I not seen the 
effect of sun and wind upon the natives of the South Sea 
Islands, where many of the better sort of people, who keep 
themselves close at home, are nearly as white as Europeans ; 
while the poorer sort, obliged in their business of fishing, 
etc., to expose their naked bodies to all the inclemencies of 
the climate, are in some cases but little lighter than the 
New Hollanders. They were all to a man lean and clean- 
limbed, and seemed very light and active. Their counte- 
nances were not without some expression, though I cannot 
charge them with much, their voices in general shrill and 

Of clothes they had not the least part, but were naked 
as ever our general father was before his fall, whether from 
idleness or want of invention is difficult to say. In the 
article of ornaments, however, useless as they are, neither 
has the one hindered them from contriving, nor the other 
from making them. Of these the chief, and that on which 
they seem to set the greatest value, is a bone 5 or 6 inches 
in length, and as thick as a man's finger, which they thrust 
into a hole bored through that part which divides the nostrils, 
so that it sticks across the face, making in the eyes of 
Europeans a most ludicrous appearance, though no doubt 
they esteem even this as an addition to their beauty, which 
they purchase by hourly inconvenience ; for when this bone 
was in its place, or, as our seamen termed it, when their 


spritsail-yard was rigged across, it completely stopped up both 
nostrils, so that they spoke in the nose in a manner one 
would think scarcely intelligible. Besides these extraordinary 
bones, they had necklaces of shells neatly cut and strung 
together ; bracelets also, if one may call by that name four or 
five rings of small cord worn round the upper part of the 
arm ; and a belt or string tied round the waist about as thick 
as worsted yarn, which last was frequently made of either 
human hair or that of the beast called by them kangooroo. 

They paint themselves with red and white. The 
former they commonly lay on in broad patches on their 
shoulders or breasts ; the white in strips, some of which are 
narrow and confined to small parts of their bodies, others 
broad and carried with some degree of taste across 
their bodies, round their legs and arms, etc. They also lay 
it on in circles round their eyes, and in patches in different 
parts of their faces. The red seems to be red ochre, but 
what the white was we could not find out, it was heavy 
and close-grained, almost as white lead, and had a sapon- 
aceous feel ; possibly it might be a kind of steatite. We 
lamented not being able to procure a bit to examine. 

These people seemed to have no idea of traffic, nor could 
we teach them ; indeed, it seemed that we had no one thing 
upon which they set a value sufficient to induce them to part 
with the smallest trifle, except one fish which weighed about 
half a pound. That they brought as a kind of peace token. 
No one in the ship procured, I believe, from them the 
smallest article ; they readily received the things we gave 
them, but never would understand our signs, when we 
asked for returns. This, however, must not be forgotten, 
that whatever opportunities they had they never once 
attempted to take anything in a clandestine manner ; what- 
ever they wanted they openly asked for, and in almost all 
cases bore the refusal, if they met with one, with much 
indifference, except in the case of turtles. 

Dirty as these people are, they seem to be entirely free 
from lice, a circumstance rarely observed among the most 
cleanly Indians, and which is here the more remarkable, as 


their hair was generally matted, and filthy enough. In all 
of them, indeed, it was very thin, and seemed as if seldom 
disturbed by the combing even of their fingers, much less to 
have any oil or grease put into it. Nor did the custom of 
oiling their bodies, so common among most uncivilised 
nations, seem to have the least footing here. 

On their bodies we observed very few marks of cutaneous 
disorders, such as scurf, scars of sores, etc. Their spare thin 
bodies indicate a temperance in eating, the consequence 
either of necessity or inclination, equally productive of 
health, particularly in this respect. On the fleshy parts of 
their arms and thighs, and some of their sides, were large 
scars in regular lines, which by their breadth and the con- 
vexity with which they had healed, showed plainly that 
they had been made by deep cuts of some blunt instrument, 
possibly a shell or the edge of a broken stone. These, as 
far as we could understand the signs they made use of, 
were the marks of their lamentations for the deceased, 
in honour of whose memory, or to show the excess of their 
grief, they had in this manner wept in blood. 

For food they seemed to depend very much, though not 
entirely, upon the sea. Fish of all kinds, turtle, and even 
crabs, they strike with their lances very dexterously. These 
are generally bearded with broad beards, and their points 
smeared over with a kind of hard resin, which makes them 
pierce a hard body far more easily than they would without it. 
In the southern parts these fish-spears had four prongs, 
and besides the resin were pointed with the sharp bone of a 
fish. To the northward their spears had only one point, 
yet both, I believe, struck fish with equal dexterity. For the 
northern ones I can witness, who several times saw them 
through a glass throw a spear from ten to twenty yards, and 
generally succeed. To the southward again the quantity of 
fish bones we saw near their fires proved them to be no 
indifferent artists. 

In striking turtle they use a peg of wood well bearded, 
and about a foot long ; this fastens into the socket of a staff 
of light wood as thick as a man's wrist, and eight or nine 


feet long, besides which it is tied to a loose line of three or 
four fathoms. The use of this is undoubtedly to enable the 
staff to serve as a float to show where the turtle is when 
struck, as well as to assist in tiring it till they can with 
their canoes overtake and haul it in. That they throw this 
dart with great force we had occasion to observe while we 
lay in Endeavour's river, where a turtle which we killed had 
one of these pegs entirely buried in his body just across its 
breast ; it seemed to have entered at the soft place where 
the fore-fin works, but not the least outward mark of the 
wound remained. 

We saw near their fire-places plentiful remains of lobsters, 
shell-fish of all kinds, and to the southward the skins of 
those sea animals which, from their property of spouting out 
water when touched, are commonly called sea - squirts. 
These last, however disgustful they may seem to an European 
palate, we found to contain, under a coat as tough as leather, 
a substance like the guts of a shell-fish, of a taste, though 
not equal to an oyster, yet by no means to be despised by 
a hungry man. 

Of land animals they probably eat every kind that they 
can kill, which probably does not amount to any large 
number, every species being here shy and cautious in a high 
degree. The only vegetables which we saw them use were 
yams of two sorts, the one long and like a finger, the other 
round and covered with stringy roots ; both sorts very 
small but sweet. They were so scarce where we were that 
we never could find the plants that produced them, though 
we often saw the places where they had been dug up by 
the Indians very recently. It is very probable that the dry 
season, which was at its height when we were there, had 
destroyed the leaves of the plants, so that we had no guide, 
while the Indians, knowing well the stalks, might find them 
easily. Whether they knew or ever made use of the cocos, 
I cannot tell ; the immense sharpness of every part of this 
vegetable before it is dressed makes it probable that any 
people who have not learned the uses of it from others may 
remain for ever ignorant of them. Near their fires were 

1770 FOOD-PLANTS 313 

great abundance of the shells of a kind of fruit resembling a 
pine-apple, though its taste was disagreeable enough. It is 
common to all the East Indies, and called by the Dutch 
Pyn appel Boomen (Pandanus). We found also the fruits 
of a low palm * called by the Dutch Moeskruidige Callapus 
(Cycas circinalis), which they certainly eat, though this fruit is 
so unwholesome that some of our people, who, though fore- 
warned, followed their example and ate one or two of them, 
were violently affected by them ; and our hogs, whose con- 
stitutions we thought might be as strong as those of the 
Indians, literally died after having eaten them. It is 
probable, however, that these people have some method of 
preparing them by which their poisonous quality is destroyed, 
as the inhabitants of the East Indian Isles are said to do by 
boiling them, steeping them twenty-four hours in water, 
then drying them, and using them to thicken broth, from 
whence it would seem that the poisonous quality lies entirely 
in the juices, as it does in the roots of the mandihoca or 
cassada of the West Indies, and that when thoroughly 
cleared of them, the pulp remaining may be a wholesome 
and nutritious food. 

Their victuals they generally dress by broiling or toasting 
them upon the coals, so we judged by the remains we saw ; 
they understood, however, the method of baking or stewing 
with hot stones, and sometimes practised it, as we now and 
then saw the pits and burned stones which had been used 
for that purpose. 

We observed that some, though but few, held constantly 
in their mouths the leaves of a herb which they chewed as 
a European does tobacco, or an East Indian betel ; what sort 
of a plant it was we had no opportunity of learning, as we 
never saw anything but the chaws, which they took from 
their mouth to show us. It might be of the betel kind, 
and so far as we could judge from the fragments was so ; 
but whatever it was, it was used without any addition, and 
seemed to have no kind of effect upon either the teeth or 
lips of those who used it. 

1 Cycas media, Br., closely allied to 0. circinalis. See pp. 299 and 421. 


Naked as these people are when abroad, they are scarcely 
at all better defended from the injuries of the weather when 
at home ; if that name can with propriety be given to 
their houses, as I believe they never make any stay in them, 
but wandering like the Arabs from place to place, set them 
up whenever they meet with a spot where sufficient supplies 
of food are to be met with. As soon as these are exhausted 
they remove to another, leaving the houses behind, which 
are framed probably with less art, or rather less industry, 
than any habitations of human beings that the world can show. 
At Sting-ray's Bay, where they were the best, each was 
capable of containing within it four or five people, but not 
one of all these could extend himself Jiis whole length in 
any direction ; he might just sit upright, but if inclined to 
sleep, must coil himself up in some crooked position, as the 
dimensions were in no direction enough to receive him 
otherwise. They were built in the form of an oven, of 
pliable rods about as thick as a man's finger, the ends of 
> which were stuck into the ground, and the whole covered 
with palm leaves and broad pieces of bark. The door was a 
fairly large hole at one end, opposite to which there seemed 
from the ashes to be a fire kept pretty constantly. To the 
northward, where the warmth of the climate made houses less 
necessary, they were in proportion still more slight : a house 
there was nothing but a hollow shelter about three or four 
feet deep, built like the former, and like them covered with 
bark. One side of this was entirely open ; it was always the 
side sheltered from the course of the prevailing wind, and 
opposite to this door was always a heap of ashes, the remains 
of a fire, probably more necessary to defend them from 
mosquitos than cold. In these it is probable that they only 
sought to protect their heads and the upper part of their 
bodies from the draught of air, trusting their feet to the 
care of the fire. So small they were that even in this 
manner not above three or four people could possibly crowd 
into them, but small as the trouble of erecting such houses 
must be, they did not always do it : we saw many places in 
the woods where they had slept with no other shelter than 


a few bushes and grass a foot or two high to shelter them 
from the wind This probably is their custom while they 
travel from place to place, and sleep upon the road, in 
situations where they do not intend to make any stay. 

The only furniture belonging to these houses, that we 
saw at least, was oblong vessels of bark made by the simple 
contrivance of tying up the ends of a longish piece with a 
withe, which not being cut off serves for a handle : these 
we imagined served as buckets to fetch water from the 
springs, which may sometimes be distant. We have reason to 
suppose that when they travel these are carried by the women 
from place to place ; indeed, during the few opportunities we 
had of seeing the women they were generally employed in 
some laborious occupation, as fetching wood, gathering shell- 
fish, etc. The men, again, maybe constantly carry their 
arms in their hands, three or four lances in the one, and 
the machine with which they throw them in the other. 
These serve the double object of defending them from their 
enemies and striking any animal or fish they may meet 
with. Each has also a small bag about the size of a 
moderate cabbage -net hanging loose upon his back and 
fastened to a small string which passes over the crown of 
his head. This seems to contain all their earthly treasures : 
a lump or two of paint, some fish-hooks and lines, shells 
to make the fish-hooks of, points of darts, resin, and their 
usual ornaments, were the general contents. 

Thus live these, I had almost said happy, people, content 
with little, nay, almost nothing ; far enough removed from 
the anxieties attending upon riches, or even the possession 
of what we Europeans call common necessaries : anxieties 
intended, maybe, by Providence to counterbalance the 
pleasure arising from the possession of wished-for attain- 
ments consequently increasing with increasing wealth, and in 
some measure keeping up the balance of happiness between 
the rich and the poor. From them appear how small are 
the real wants of human nature, which we Europeans have 
increased to an excess which would certainly appear incredible 
to these people could they be told it ; nor shall we cease to 


increase them as long as luxuries can be invented and riches 
found for the purchase of them. How soon these luxuries 
degenerate into necessaries may be sufficiently evinced by 
the universal use of strong liquors, tobacco, spices, tea, etc. 
In this instance, again, Providence seems to act the part of 
a leveller, doing much towards putting all ranks into an 
equal state of wants, and consequently of real poverty : the 
great and magnificent want as much, and maybe more, than 
the middle classes : they again in proportion more than the 
inferior, each rank looking higher than its station, but confin- 
ing itself to a certain point above which it knows not how 
to wish, not knowing at least perfectly what is there 

Tools among these people we saw almost none, indeed, 
having no arts which require any, it is not to be expected 
that they should have many. A stone sharpened at the edge 
and a wooden mallet were the only ones that we saw formed 
by art : the use of these we supposed to be to make the 
notches in the bark of high trees by which they climb them 
for purposes unknown to us ; and for cutting and perhaps 
driving in wedges to take off the bark which they must 
have in large pieces for making canoes, shields, and water- 
buckets, and also for covering their houses. Besides these 
they use shells and corals to scrape the points of their 
darts, and polish them with the leaves of a kind of wild 
fig -tree (Ficus radula), which bites upon wood almost as 
keenly as our European shave-grass, used by the joiners. 
Their fish-hooks are very neatly made of shell, and some 
are exceedingly small : their lines are also well twisted, and 
they have them from the size of a half-inch rope to almost 
the fineness of a hair, made of some vegetable. 

Of netting they seem to be quite ignorant, but make 
their bags, the only thing of the kind we saw among them, 
by laying the threads loop within loop, something like 
knitting, only very coarse and open, in the very same 
manner as I have seen ladies make purses in England. 
That they had no sharp instruments among them we 
ventured to guess from the circumstance of an old man 


coming to us one day with a beard rather longer than his 
fellows : the next day he came again, and his beard was 
then almost cropped close to his chin, and upon examination 
we found the ends of the hairs all burned, so that he had 
certainly singed it off. Their manner of hunting and taking 
wild animals we had no opportunity of seeing; we only guessed 
that the notches which they had everywhere cut in the bark 
of the large trees, which certainly seems to make climbing 
more easy to them, might be intended to allow them to 
ascend these trees in order either to watch for any animal 
unwarily passing under them which they might pierce with 
their darts, or to take birds which might roost in them at 
night. We guessed also that the fires which we saw so 
frequently as we passed along shore, extending over a large 
tract of country, and by which we could constantly trace 
the passage of Indians who went from us in Endeavour's 
river up into the country, were intended in some way or 
other for taking the animal called by them kangooroo, 
which we found to be so much afraid of fire that we could 
hardly force it with our dogs to go over places newly 

They get fire very expeditiously with two pieces of stick : 
the one must be round and eight or nine inches long, and 
both it and the other should be dry and soft : the round 
they sharpen a little at one end, and pressing it upon the 
other turn it round with the palms of their hand, just as 
Europeans do a chocolate-mill, often shifting their hands up 
and running them down quickly to make the pressure as 
hard as possible : in this manner they will get fire in less 
than two minutes, and when once possessed of the smallest 
spark increase it in a manner truly wonderful. We often 
admired a man running along shore and apparently carrying 
nothing in his hand, yet as he ran along just stooping down 
every 50 or 100 yards ; smoke and fire were seen among 
the drift-wood and dirt at that place almost the instant he 
had left it. This we afterwards found was done by the 
infinite readiness every kind of rubbish, sticks, withered 
leaves, or dry grass, already almost like tinder by the heat 


of the sun and dryness of the season, would take fire. He 
took, for instance, when he set off a small bit of fire, and 
wrapping it up in dry grass ran on : this soon blazed ; he 
then laid it down on the most convenient place for his 
purpose that he could find, and taking up a small part of 
it, wrapped that in part of the dry rubbish in which he had 
laid it, proceeding in this manner as long as he thought 

Their weapons, offensive at least, were precisely the same 
wherever we saw them, except that at the very last view 
we had of the country we saw through our glasses a man 
who carried a bow and arrows. In this we might have 
been, but I believe were not, mistaken. Their weapons 
consisted of only one species, a pike or lance from eight to 
fourteen feet long : this they threw short distances with 
their hands, and longer (forty or more yards), with an 
instrument made for the purpose. The upper part of these 
lances was made either of cane or the stalk of a plant 
resembling a bulrush, 1 which was very straight and light : 
the point was made of very heavy and hard wood, the 
whole artfully balanced for throwing, though very clumsily 
made, in two, three, or four joints, at each of which the 
parts were let into each other. Besides being tied round, 
the joint was thickly smeared with thin resin, which made 
it larger and more clumsy than any other part. The points 
were of several sorts : those which we concluded to be in- 
tended to be used against men were most cruel weapons ; they 
were all single pointed, either with the stings of sting-rays, 
a large one of which served for the point and three or four 
smaller ones tied the contrary way for barbs, or simply of 
wood made very sharp and smeared over with resin, into 
which were stuck many broken bits of sharp shells, so that 
if such a weapon pierced a man it could scarcely be drawn 
out without leaving several of those unwelcome guests in 
his flesh, certain to make the wound ten times more difficult 
to cure than it otherwise would be. Those lances which we 
supposed to be used merely for striking fish, birds, etc., 

1 Xanthorrhcea. 

i?7o WEAPONS 319 

had generally simple points of wood ; or if they were barbed, 
it was with only one splinter of wood. The instrument 
with which they threw them was a plain stick or piece of 
wood 2^ or 3 feet in length, at one end of which was a 
small knob or hook, and near the other a kind of cross-piece 


to hinder it from slipping out of their hands. With this 
contrivance, simple as it is, and ill-fitted for that purpose, 
they throw the lances forty yards or more with a swiftness 
and steadiness truly surprising. The knob being hooked 
into a small dent made in the top of the lance, they hold 
it over their shoulder, and shaking it an instant, as if 
balancing it, throw it with the greatest ease imaginable. 
The neatest of these throwing sticks that we saw was made 
of a hard reddish wood, polished and shining : the sides were 
flat and about two inches in breadth, and the handle, or part 
to keep it from dropping out of the hand, covered with thin 
layers of very white polished bone. These I believe to be 
the things which many of our people were deceived by, 
imagining them to be wooden swords, clubs, etc., according 
to the direction in which they happened to see them. 
Defensive weapons we saw only in Sting-ray's Bay and there 
only a single instance: a man who attempted to oppose our 
landing came down to the beach with a shield of an oblong 
shape about 3 feet long and 1|- broad, made of the bark of 
a tree. This he left behind when he ran away, and we 
found upon taking it up that it had plainly been pierced 
through with a single-pointed lance near the centre. That 
such shields were frequently used in that neighbourhood we 
had, however, sufficient proof, often seeing upon trees the 
places from whence they had been cut, and sometimes the 
shields themselves cut out but not yet taken from the tree, 
th'j edges of the bark only being a little raised with wedges. 
This shows that these people certainly know how much 
thicker and stronger bark becomes by being suffered to 
remain upon the tree some time after it is cut round. 


That they are a very pusillanimous people we had reason 
to suppose from their conduct in every place where we 
were, except at Sting-ray's Bay, and then only two people 
opposed the landing of our two boats full of men for nearly 
a quarter of an hour, and were not to be driven away until 
several times wounded with small shot, which we were 
obliged to do, as at that time we suspected their lances to 
be poisoned, from the quantity of gum which was about 
their points. But upon every other occasion, both there 
and everywhere else, they behaved alike, shunning us, and 
giving up any part of the country we landed upon at once. 
That they use stratagems in war we learnt by the instance 
in Sting-ray's Bay, where our surgeon with another man 
was walking in the woods and met six Indians : they stood 
still, but directed another who was up a tree how and when 
he should throw a lance at them, which he did, and on its 
not taking effect they all ran away as fast as possible. 

Their canoes were the only things in which we saw a 
manifest difference between the southern and northern 
people. Those to the southward were little better contrived 
or executed than their houses ; a piece of bark tied together 
in plaits at the ends, and kept extended in the middle by 
small bows of wood, was the whole embarkation which carried 
one or two people, nay, we once saw three, who moved it 
along in shallow water with long poles, and in deeper with 
paddles about eighteen inches long, one of which they held 
in each hand. In the middle of these canoes was generally 
a small fire upon a heap of seaweed, for what purpose 
intended we did not know, except perhaps to give the 
fisherman an opportunity of eating fish in perfection, by 
broiling it the moment it is taken. To the northward their 
canoes, though exceedingly bad, were far superior to these ; 
they were small, but regularly hollowed out of the trunk 
of a tree, and fitted with an outrigger to prevent them 
from upsetting. In these they had paddles large enough 
to require both hands to work them. Of this sort we saw 
few, and had an opportunity of examining only one of them, 
which might be about ten or eleven feet long, but was 

1770 CANOES 321 

extremely narrow. The sides of the tree were left in their 
natural state untouched by tools, but at each end they had 
cut away from the under part, and left part of the upper 
side overhanging. The inside also was not badly hollowed, 
and the sides tolerably thin. We had many times an op- 
portunity of seeing what burthen it was capable of carrying. 
Three people, or at most four, were as many as dare venture 
in it ; and if any others wanted to cross the river, which in 
that place was about half a mile broad, one of these would 
take the canoe back and fetch them. 

This was the only piece of workmanship which I saw 
among the New Hollanders that seemed to require tools. 
How they had hollowed her out or cut the ends I cannot 
guess, but upon the whole the work was not ill done. 
Indian patience might do a good deal with shells, etc., 
without the use of stone axes, which, if they had them, 
they would probably have used to form her outside. That 
such a canoe takes much time and trouble to make may be 
concluded from our seeing so few, and still more from the 
moral certainty which we have that the tribe which visited 
us, consisting to our knowledge of twenty-one people, and 
possibly of several more, had only one such belonging to 
them. How tedious it must be for these people to be 
ferried over a river a mile or two wide by threes and fours 
at a time ; how well, therefore, worth the pains for them to 
stock themselves better with boats if they could do it. 

I am inclined to believe that, besides these canoes, the 
northern people make use of the bark canoe of the south. 
I judge from having seen one of the small paddles left by 
them upon a small island where they had been fishing for 
turtle : it lay upon a heap of turtle shells and bones, trophies 
of the good living they had had when there. With it lay 
the broken staff of a turtle peg and a rotten line, tools 
which had been worn out, I suppose, in the service of catch- 
ing them. We had great reason to believe that at some 
season of the year the weather is much more moderate than 
we found it, otherwise the Indians could never have 
ventured in any canoes that we saw half so far from the 



mainland as were islands on which we saw evident marks 
of their having been, such as decayed houses, fires, the before- 
mentioned turtle bones, etc. Maybe, at this more moderate 
time, they make and use such canoes, and when the bluster- 
ing season comes on, may convert the bark of which they 
were made to the purposes of covering houses, water- 
buckets, etc., well knowing that when the next season 
returns they will not want for a supply of bark to rebuild 
their vessels. Another reason we have to imagine that such 
a moderate season exists, and that the winds are [not] then 
upon the eastern board as we found them is, that whatever 
Indian houses or sleeping places we saw on these islands were 
built upon the summit of small hills, if there were any, or if 
not, in places where no bushes or wood could intercept the 
course of the wind, and their shelter was always turned to the 
eastward. On the main, again, their houses were universally 
built in valleys or under the shelter of trees which might 
defend them from the very winds, which in the islands they 
exposed themselves to. 

Of their language I can say very little ; our acquaint- 
ance with them was of so short a duration that none of 
us attempted to use a single word of it to them, conse- 
quently words could be learned in no other manner than by 
signs, inquiring of them what in their language signified 
such a thing, a method obnoxious as leading to many mis- 
takes. For instance, a man holds in his hand a stone and 
asks the name of it, the Indian may return him for answer 
either the real name of a stone, or one of the properties of 
it, as hardness, roughness, smoothness, etc., or one of its 
uses, or the name peculiar to some particular species of 
stone, which name the inquirer immediately sets down as 
that of a stone. To avoid, however, as much as possible 
this inconvenience, myself and two or three others got 
from them as many .words as we could, and having noted 
down those which we thought from circumstances we were 
not mistaken in, we compared our lists ; those in which all 
agreed, or rather were contradicted by none, we thought 
ourselves morally certain not to be mistaken in. They very 




often use the article ge, which seems to 

answer to our 

English a, as ge gurka a rope. 


the head Meanang 



the hair 


a stone 


the ears 




the lips 


a rope 


the nose 


a man 


the tongue 


a male turtle 


the beard 


a female turtle 


the neck 


a canoe 


the nipples 


to paddle 


the navel 


set down 


the hands 




the thighs 




the knees 




the feet 


bone in nose 


the heel 


a bag 


the sole 
the ankle 

Cherr } 

Expressions maybe 
of admiration which 


the nails 
the sun 

Tut tut tut tut, 

they continually used 
while in company. 


AUG. 27 SEPT. 21, 1770 

"Sea-sawdust" New Guinea Landing Vegetation Natives throw fire- 
darts Home-sickness of the crew Coast along Timor Rotte Aurora 
Savu Island Signs of Europeans A boat sent ashore to trade Anchor 
Reception by natives Their Radja Mynheer Lange House of 
Assembly Native dinner Obstacles to trading Mynheer Lange's 
covetousness Trading Dutch policy concerning spices. 

27 th August. Lay to all night ; in the morning a fresh trade 
and fine clear weather made us hope that our difficulties 
were drawing to an end. It was now resolved to haul up 
to the northward in order to make the coast of New Guinea, 
so as to assure ourselves that we had really got clear of 
the South Sea, which was accordingly done. At dinner- 
time we were alarmed afresh by the usual report of a shoal 
just ahead ; it proved, however, to be no more than a band 
or regular layer of a brownish colour, extending upon the 
sea, having very much the appearance of a shoal while at 
a distance. It was formed by innumerable small atoms, 
each scarcely half a line in length, yet, when looked at 
under a microscope, consisting of thirty or forty tubes, each 
hollow and divided throughout the whole length into many 
cells by small partitions, like the tubes of Conferva. To 
which of the three kingdoms of nature they belong I am 
totally ignorant. I only guess that they are of a vege- 
table nature, because on burning them I could perceive no 
animal smell. We have before this during this voyage 
seen them several times on the coast of Brazil and of New 


Holland, but never that I recollect at any considerable dis- 
tance from the land. In the evening a small bird of the 
noddy (Sterna) kind hovered about the ship, and at night 
settled on the rigging, where it was taken, and proved 
exactly the same bird as Dampier has described, and given 
a rude figure of, under the name of a noddy from New 
Holland (see his Voyages, vol. iii. p. 98, table of birds, 
Fig. 5). 

28th. Still standing to the northward, the water shoal- 
ing regularly ; vast quantities of the little substances men- 
tioned yesterday floating upon the water in large lines, a 
mile or more long, and fifty or a hundred yards wide, all 
swimming either immediately upon the surface of the 
water, or not many inches below it. The seamen, who 
were now convinced that it was not as they had thought 
the spawn of fish, began to call it sea-sawdust, a name 
certainly not ill adapted to its appearance. One of them, 
a Portuguese, who came on board the ship at Eio de 
Janeiro, told me that at St. Salvador on the coast of Brazil, 
where the Portuguese have a whale fishery, he had often 
seen vast quantities of it taken out of the stomachs of whales 
or grampuses. 

29th. During the whole night our soundings were very 
irregular, but never less than seven fathoms, and never 
so shoal for any time. In the morning the land l was seen 
from the deck. It was uncommonly low, but very thickly 
covered with wood. At eight o'clock it was not more than 
two leagues from us, but the water had gradually shoaled 
since morn to five fathoms, and was at this time as muddy as 
the river Thames, so that it was not thought prudent to go any 
nearer at present. We accordingly stood along shore, seeing 
fires and large groves of cocoanut trees, in the neighbour- 
hood of which we supposed the Indian villages to be situated. 

1st September. Distant as the land was, a very fragrant 
smell came off from it early in the morning, with the little 
breeze that blew right off shore. It resembled much the 
smell of gum Benjamin. As the sun gathered power it died 

1 Coast of New Guinea, near Cape Valsche. 


away, and was no longer perceived. All the latter part of 
the day we had calms or light winds all round the compass, 
the weather at the same time being most intolerably hot. 

3rd. We stood right in-shore, and at half-past eight had 
less than three fathoms water five or six miles from the 
shore. The captain, Dr. Solander, and I, with the boat's 
crew and my servants, consisting in all of twelve men, well 
armed, rowed directly towards the shore, but could not get 
nearer than about 200 yards on account of the shallowness 
of the water. We quickly, however, got out of the boat, and 
waded ashore, leaving two men to take care of her. We 
had no sooner landed than we saw the print of naked feet 
upon the mud below high- water mark, which convinced us 
that the Indians were not far off, though we had yet seen 
no signs of any. The nature of the country made it necessary 
for us to be very much upon our guard. The close, thick 
wood came down to within less than 100 yards of the water, 
and so near therefore might the Indians come without our 
seeing them, and should they by numbers overpower us, a re- 
treat to the boat would be impossible, as she was so far from 
the shore. We proceeded, therefore, with much caution, 
looking carefully about us, the doctor and I looking for 
plants at the edge of the wood, and the rest walking along 
the beach. 

About 200 yards from our landing, we came to a grove 
of cocoanut trees of very small growth, but well hung 
with fruit, standing upon the banks of a small brook 
of brackish water. Near them was a small shed, hardly 
half covered with cocoanut leaves, in and about which were 
numberless cocoanut shells, some quite fresh. We stayed 
under these trees some time, admiring and wishing for the 
fruit, but as none of us could climb, it was impossible to 
get even one, so we left them, and proceeded in search of 
anything else which might occur. We soon found plantains 
and a single bread-fruit tree, but neither of these had any 
fruit upon them, so we proceeded, and had got about a quarter 
of a mile from the boat when three Indians suddenly rushed 
out of the woods, with a hideous shout, about a hundred 


yards beyond us, and running towards us, the foremost threw 
something out of his hand which flew on one side of him 
and burned exactly like gunpowder. The other two 
immediately threw two darts at us, on which we fired. 
Most of our guns were loaded with small shot, which, at the 
distance they were from us, I suppose they hardly felt, for 
they moved not at all, but immediately threw a third dart, 
on which we loaded and fired again. Our balls, I suppose, 
this time fell near them, but none of them were materially 
hurt, as they ran away with great alacrity. From this 
specimen of the people we immediately concluded that 
nothing was to be got here but by force, which would, of 
course, be attended with the destruction of many of these 
poor people, whose territories we certainly had no right to 
invade, either as discoverers or people in real want of pro- 
visions. We therefore resolved to go into our boat and 
leave this coast to some after-comer who might have either 
more time or better opportunities of gaining the friendship 
of its inhabitants. Before we had got abreast of her, how- 
ever, we saw the two people in her make signals to us that 
more Indians were coming along shore, and before we had 
got into the water we saw them come round a point about 
500 yards from us. They had probably met the three who 
first attacked us, for on seeing us they halted and seemed 
to wait till the main body should come up, nor did they 
come nearer us while we waded to the boat. When we 
were embarked and afloat, we rowed towards them and 
fired some muskets over their heads into the trees, on 
which they walked gradually off, continuing to throw 
abundance of their fires, whatever they might be designed 
for. We guessed their numbers to be about 100. After 
we had watched them and their behaviour as long as we 
chose, we returned to the ship, where our friends had 
suffered much anxiety for our sakes, imagining that the fires 
thrown by the Indians were real muskets, so much did they 
resemble the fire and smoke made by the firing of one. 
These " fire-arms " were also seen by Torres (see p. li.) 

The place where we landed we judged to be near Cabo de 


la Colta de Santa Bonaventura, as it is called in the French 
charts, about nine or ten leagues to the southward of Ke&r 
Weer} We were not ashore altogether more than two hours, 
so cannot be expected to have made many observations. 

The soil had all the appearance of the highest fertility, 
being covered with a prodigious quantity of trees, which 
seemed to thrive luxuriantly. Notwithstanding this, the 
cocoanut trees bore very small fruit, and the plantains did 
not seem very thriving. The only bread-fruit tree that we 
saw was, however, very large and healthy. There was very 
little variety of plants ; we saw only twenty -three species, 
every one of which was known to us, unless two may prove 
upon comparison to be different from any of the many 
species of Cyperus we have still undetermined from New 
Holland. Had we had axes to cut down the trees, or 
could we have ventured into the woods, we should doubtless 
have found more, but we had only an opportunity of examin- 
ing the beach and edge of the wood. I am of opinion, how- 
ever, that the country does not abound in variety of species, 
as I have been in no one before where I could not, on a 
good soil, have gathered many more with the same time and 

The people, as well as we could judge, were nearly of the 
same colour as the New Hollanders ; some thought rather 
lighter. They were certainly stark naked. The arms which 
they used against us were very light, ill -made darts of 
bamboo cane, pointed with hard wood, in which were many 
barbs. They perhaps shot them with bows, but I am of 
opinion that they threw them with a stick something in the 
manner of the New Hollanders. They came about sixty 
yards beyond us, but not in a point-blank direction. 
Besides these, many among them, maybe a fifth part of the 
whole, had in their hands a short piece of stick, perhaps a 
hollow cane, which they swing sideways from them, and 
immediately fire flew from it perfectly resembling the flash 
and smoke of a musket, and of no longer duration. For 

1 Cook and Banks landed "on a part of the coast scarcely known to this 
day." Wharton's Cook. 

SEPT. 1770 NEW GUINEA 329 

what purpose that was done is far beyond my guessing. 
They had with them several dogs, who ran after them in 
the same manner as ours do in Europe. 

The house or shed that we saw was very mean and poor. 
It consisted of four stakes driven into the ground, two being 
longer than the others. Over these cocoanut leaves were 
loosely laid ; not half enough to cover it. By the cutting 
of these stakes, as well as of the arrows or darts which 
they threw at us, we concluded that they had no iron. 

As soon as ever the boat was hoisted in we made sail, 
and steered away from this land, to the no small satisfaction 
of, I believe, three-fourths of our company. The sick became 
well and the melancholy looked gay. The greater part of 
them were now pretty far gone with the longing for home, 
which the physicians have gone so far as to esteem a disease 
under the name of nostalgia. Indeed I can find hardly 
anybody in the ship clear of its effects but the captain, Dr. 
Solander, and myself, and we three have ample constant 
employment for our minds, which I believe to be the best, 
if not the only remedy for it. 

4:th. The altered countenances of our common people 
were still more perceptible than they were yesterday. Two- 
thirds allowance had, I believe, made the chief difference 
with them, for our provisions were now so much wasted by 
keeping, that that allowance was little more than was 
necessary to keep life and soul together. 

1 2th. As soon as the light was pretty clear, land was 
seen five or six leagues off, and we stood in for it. It 
was very high, rising in gradual slopes from the hills, which 
were in great measure covered with thick woods. Among 
them, however, we could distinguish bare spots of large 
extent, which looked as if made by art. Many fires were 
also seen on all parts of the hills, some very high up. 
At nightfall we were within a mile and a half off the beach, 
just abreast of a little inlet. The country seemed to answer 
very well to the description which Dampier has given of 
Timor, the land close to the beach being covered with high 
tapering trees, which he likens to pines (Casuarina), behind 


which was a great appearance of salt-water creeks and many 
mangroves. In parts, however, were many cocoanut trees. 
Close down to the beach the flat land seemed to extend in 
some places two or three miles before the rise of the first 
hill. We saw no appearance of plantations or houses near 
the sea, but the land looked most fertile, and from the many 
fires we saw in different parts we could not help having a 
good opinion of its population. 

1 4:th. Infinite albecores and bonitos were about the ship, 
attended, as they always are when near land, by some 
species of Sterna. These were Dampier's New Holland 
noddies, which flew in large flocks, hovering over the shoals 
of fish. Many man-of-war birds also attended, and enter- 
tained us by very frequently stooping at albecores so large 
that twenty times their strength could not have lifted them, 
had they been dexterous enough to seize them, which they 
never once effected. 

1 5th. About a mile up from the beach began the plantations, 
and houses almost innumerable standing under the shade of 
large groves of palms, appearing like the fan-palm (Borassus). 
The plantations, which were in general enclosed with some 
kind of fence, reached almost to the top of the hills, but 
near the beach were no certain marks of habitations seen. 
But what surprised us most was that, notwithstanding all 
these indisputable marks of a populous country, we saw 
neither people nor any kind of cattle stirring all the day, 
though our glasses were almost continually employed. 

16th. Soon after breakfast the small island of Eotte was 
in sight, and a little later the opening appeared plainly, 
which at last convinced our old unbelievers that the island 
we had so long been off was really Timor. Soon after dinner 
we passed the straits. Eotte was not mountainous or high 
like Timor, but consisted of hills and vales. On the east 
end of it some of our people saw houses, but I did not. The 
north side had many sandy beaches, near which grew some 
of the fan-palms, but the greater part was covered with a 
kind of bushy tree which had few or no leaves. The straits 
between Timor and the island called by Dampier Anabao we 


plainly saw ; they appeared narrow. Anabao itself looked 
much like Timor, but was not quite so high. We saw on it 
no signs of cultivation, but as it was misty, and we were 
well on the other side of the straits, which we judged to 
be five leagues across, we saw it but very indifferently. 

About ten o'clock a phenomenon appeared in the heavens, 
in many things resembling the aurora borealis, but differing 
materially in others. It consisted of a dull reddish light, 
reaching in height about twenty degrees above the horizon. 
Its extent varied much at different times, but was never 
less than eight or ten points of the compass. Through and 
out of this passed rays of a brighter-coloured light, tending 
directly upwards. These appeared and vanished nearly in 
the same time as those of the aurora borealis, but were 
entirely without the trembling or vibratory motion observed 
in that phenomenon. The body of it bore from the ship 
S.S.E. It lasted as bright as ever till nearly midnight, 
when I went down to sleep, and how much longer I cannot 

Vlih. In the morning an island 1 was in sight, very im- 
perfectly, if at all, laid down in the charts. By ten we were 
very near the east end of it. It was not high, but composed 
of gently sloping hills and vales almost entirely cleared and 
covered with innumerable palm trees. Near the beach were 
many houses, but no people were seen stirring. Soon after 
we passed the N.E. point, we saw on the beach a large flock 
of sheep, but still no people. The north side of the isle 
appeared scarcely at all cultivated, but, like that of Eotte, 
was covered with thick brushwood, almost or quite destitute 
of leaves. Among these, as we passed, we saw numerous 
flocks of sheep, but no houses or plantations. At last, how- 
ever, one was discovered in a grove of cocoanut trees, and it 
was resolved to send a boat in charge of a lieutenant to 
attempt to establish a commerce with people who seemed so 
well able to supply our many necessities. "We saw on the 
hills two men on horseback, who seemed to ride for their 
amusement, looking often at the ship, a circumstance which 

1 Savu Island, belonging to the Dutch. 


made us at once conclude that there were Europeans among 
the islanders, by whom we should be received at least more 
politely than we were used to be by uncivilised Indians. 

After a very short stay the lieutenant returned, bringing 
word that he had seen Indians, in all respects, as colour, 
dress, etc., much resembling the Malays; that they very 
civilly invited him ashore, and conversed with him by signs, 
but neither party could understand the other. They were 
totally unarmed, except for the knives which they wore in 
their girdles, and had with them a jackass, a sure sign that 
Europeans had been among them. 

It was resolved to go to the lee side of the island in hopes 
there to find anchoring ground ; in the meanwhile, however, 
the boat with some truck was sent ashore at the cocoanut 
grove, in hopes of purchasing some trifling refreshment for 
the sick, in case we should be disappointed later on. Dr. 
Solander went in it. Before it reached the shore we saw 
two fresh horsemen, one of whom had on a complete European 
dress, blue coat, white waistcoat, and laced hat ; these as the 
boat lay ashore, seemed to take little notice of her, but only 
sauntered about, looking much at the ship. Many more 
horsemen, however, and still more footmen gathered round 
our people, and we had the satisfaction of seeing several 
cocoanuts brought into the boat, a sure sign that peace and 
plenty reigned ashore. 

After a stay of an hour and a half the boat made a 
signal of having had intelligence of a harbour to leeward, 
and we in consequence bore away for it ; the boat following 
soon came on board and told us that the people had behaved 
in an uncommonly civil manner, that they had seen some of 
their principal people, who were dressed in fine linen, and 
had chains of gold round their necks, that they had not been 
able to trade, the owner of the cocoanut trees not being 
there, but had got about two dozen cocoanuts given as a 
present by these principal people who accepted linen in 
return, and made them understand by drawing a map upon 
the sand, that on the lee side of the island was a bay in 
which we might anchor near a town and buy sheep, hogs, 


fruit, fowls, etc. They talked much of the Portuguese and 
of Larntuca on the Island of Ende, 1 from which circumstance 
it was probable that the Portuguese were somewhere on the 
island, though none of the natives could speak more than a 
word or two of the language. Our conclusion was strength- 
ened as one of the Indians, in speaking of the town, made a 
sign of something we should see there by crossing his fingers, 
which a Portuguese, who was in the boat, immediately in- 
terpreted into a cross, a supposition which appeared very 
probable. Just before they put off the man in an European 
dress came towards them, but the officer in the boat, not 
having his commission about him, thought proper to put off 
immediately without staying to speak to him, or know what 
countryman he was. 

We sailed along shore, and after having passed a point 
of land found a bay sheltered from the trade wind, in which 
we soon discovered a large Indian town or village, on which 
we stood in, hoisting a Jack. To our no small surprise 
Dutch colours were hoisted in the town, and three guns 
fired ; we, however, proceeded, and just at dark got soundings, 
and anchored about one and a half miles from the shore. 

18th. In the morning the boat with the second lieu- 
tenant went ashore and was received by a guard of twenty 
or thirty Indians armed with muskets, who conducted them 
to the town, about a mile in the country, marching without 
any order or regularity, and carrying away with them the 
Dutch colours, which had been hoisted upon the beach 
opposite to where the ship lay. Here he was introduced to 
the Eadja or Indian king, whom he told through a Portu- 
guese interpreter that we were an English man-of-war, which 
had been long at sea and had many sick on board, for whom 
we wanted to purchase such refreshments as the island pro- 
vided. He answered that he was willing to supply us with 
everything that we should want, but being in alliance with 
the Dutch East India Company, he was not allowed to trade 
with any other people without their consent, which, however, 
he would immediately apply for to a Dutchman belonging to 
1 Now better known as Flores. 


that company, who was the only white man residing upon 
that island. A letter was accordingly despatched immedi- 
ately, and after some hours' waiting, answered by the man 
in person, who assured us with many civilities that we 
were at liberty to buy of the natives whatever we pleased. 
He, as well as the king and several of his attendants, ex- 
pressed a desire of coming on board, provided, however, that 
some of our people might stay on shore ; on which two were 

About two o'clock they arrived ; our dinners were ready, 
and they soon agreed to dine with us. On sitting down, 
however, the king excused himself, saying that he did 
not imagine that we who were white men would suffer him 
who was black to sit down in our company. A compliment, 
however, removed his scruples, and he and his prime 
minister sat down and ate sparingly. During all dinner- 
time we received many professions of friendship from both 
the king and the European, who was a native of Saxony, by 
name Johan Christopher Lange. Mutton was our fare : the 
king expressed a desire to have an English sheep, and as we 
had one left it was presented to him. Mynheer Lange then 
hinted that a spying-glass would be acceptable, and was im- 
mediately presented with one. We were told that the 
island abounded in buffaloes, sheep, hogs, and fowls, all 
which should be next day driven down to the beach, and we 
might buy any quantity of them. This agreeable intelli- 
gence put us all into high spirits, and the liquor went about 
fully as much as Mynheer Lange or the Indians could bear. 
They, however, expressed a desire of going away before they 
were quite drunk. They were received upon deck, as they 
had been when they came on board, by the marines under 
arms. The king wished to see them exercise, which they 
accordingly did, and fired three rounds much to his Majesty's 
satisfaction, who expressed great surprise, particularly at 
their so quickly cocking their guns. Dr. Solander and I 
went ashore in the boat with them : as soon as we put off 
they saluted the ship with three cheers, which the ship 
answered with five guns. 


We landed and walked up to the town, which consisted 
of a good many houses, some tolerably large, each being a 
roof of thatch supported by pillars three or four feet from 
the ground, and covering a boarded floor. Before we had 
been long there it began to grow dark, and we returned on 
board, having only just tasted their palm wine, which had 
a very sweet taste, and suited all our palates very well, 
giving us hopes at the same time that it might be service- 
able to our sick, as, being the fresh and unfermented juice 
of the tree, it promised antiscorbutic virtues. 

19^/t. We went ashore, and proceeded immediately to 
the house of assembly, a large house which we had yesterday 
mistaken for the king's palace ; this, as well as two or three 
more in the town, or nigrie, as the Indians call it, have 
been built by the Dutch East India Company. They are 
distinguished from the rest by two pieces of wood, one at 
each end of the ridge of the house, resembling cows' horns ; 
undoubtedly the thing designed by the Indian, who on the 
17th made a sign of the mark by which we were to know 
the town by crossing his fingers, and which our Catholic 
Portuguese interpreted into a cross, making us believe that 
the settlement was originally Portuguese. In this house of 
assembly we met Mynheer Lange, and the Radja, Madoclio 
Lomi Djara, attended by many of the principal people. We 
told them that we had in the boat an assortment of what 
few goods we had to truck with, and desired leave to bring 
them ashore, which was immediately granted, and orders 
given accordingly. We then attempted to settle the price 
of buffaloes, sheep, hogs, etc., which were to be paid in 
money, but here Mynheer Lange left us, and told us that 
we must settle that with the natives, who would bring 
down large quantities to the beach. By this time the 
morning was pretty far advanced, and we, resolving not to 
go on board, and eat salt meat, when such a profusion of 
flesh was continually talked of, petitioned his Majesty that 
we might have liberty to purchase a small hog, some rice, 
etc., and employ his subjects to cook them for dinner. He 
answered that if we could eat victuals dressed by his 


subjects, which he could hardly suppose, he would do him- 
self the honour of entertaining us ; we expressed our 
gratitude, and sent immediately on hoard for liquors. 

About five o'clock dinner was ready, consisting of thirty- 
six dishes, or rather baskets, containing alternately rice and 
boiled pork, and three earthenware bowls of soup, which was 
the broth in which the pork had been boiled. These were 
ranged on the floor, and mats laid round for us to sit upon. 
We were now conducted by turns to a hole in the floor, 
near which stood a man with a basket of water in his hand : 
here we washed our hands, and then ranged ourselves in 
order round the victuals, waiting for the king to sit down. 
We were told, however, that the custom of the country was 
that the entertainer never sits down to meat with his 
guests, but that if we suspected the victuals to be poisoned, 
he would willingly do it. We suspected nothing, and 
therefore desired that all things might go on as usual. We 
ate with good appetites, the Prime Minister and Mynheer 
Lange partaking with us. Our wine passed briskly about, 
the Radja alone refusing to drink with us, saying that it 
was wrong for the master of the feast to be in liquor. The 
pork was excellent, the rice as good, the broth not bad, but 
the spoons, which were made of leaves, were so small that 
few of us had patience to eat it. Every one made a hearty 
dinner, and as soon as we had done, removed, as it seems 
the custom was, to let the servants and seamen take our 
places. These could not despatch all, but when the women 
came to take away, they forced them to take away with 
them all the pork that was left. 

Before dinner Mynheer Lange mentioned to us a letter 
which he had in the morning received from the Governor 
of Timor : the particulars of it were now discussed. It ac- 
quainted him that a ship had been seen off that island, and 
had steered from thence towards that which we were now 
upon. In case such ship was to touch there in any distress, 
she was to be supplied with what she wanted, but was not 
to be allowed to make any longer stay than was necessary, 
and was particularly required not to make any large presents 


to the inferior people, or to leave any with the principal 
ones to be distributed among them after she was gone. 
This we were told did not at all extend to the beads or 
small pieces of cloth which we gave the natives in return 
for their small civilities, as bringing us palm wine, etc. 
Some of our gentlemen were of opinion that the whole of 
this letter was an imposition, but whether it was or not I 
shall not take upon myself to determine. 

In the evening we had intelligence from our trading 
place that no buffaloes or hogs had been brought down ; but 
only a few sheep, which were taken away before our people, 
who had sent for money, could procure it. Some few fowls, 
however, were bought, and a large quantity of a kind of 
syrup made from the juice of the palm tree, which, though 
infinitely superior to molasses or treacle, sold at a very 
small price. We complained to Mynheer Lange : he said 
that as we had not ourselves been down upon the beach, 
the natives were afraid to take money from any one else, 
lest it should be false. On this, the captain went im- 
mediately down, but could see no cattle : while he was gone, 
Mr. Lange complained that our people had not yet offered 
gold for anything : this he said the islanders were displeased 
at, as they had expected to have had gold for their stock. 

2Qth. In the morning early the captain went ashore 
himself to purchase buffaloes : he was shown two, one of 
which they valued at five guineas, the other a musket : he 
offered three guineas for the one, and sent for a musket to 
give for the other. The money was flatly refused, and 
before the musket could be brought off, Dr. Solander, who 
had been up in the town in order to speak to Mr. Lange, re- 
turned, followed by eighty spearmen and twenty musketeers 
sent by the king, to tell us that this day and no more 
would be allowed us to trade, after which we must be gone. 
This was the message that Dr. Solander had from the Eadja 
by Mr. Lange's interpretation, but a Portuguese Indian who 
came from Timor, probably next in command to Mr. Lange, 
carried it much further, telling us that we might stay ashore 
till night if we pleased, but none of the Indians would be 



allowed to trade with us, after which he began to drive 
away those who had brought hens, syrup, etc. To remedy 
this an old sword which lay in the boat was given to the 
Prime Minister, as I have called him, Mannudjame, who in 
an instant restored order, and severely chid the officer of the 
guard, an old Portuguese Indian, for having gone beyond 
his orders. Trade now was as brisk as ever; fowls and 
syrup were bought cheap, and in vast plenty. The state 
of the case now appeared plain : Mr. Lange was to have a 
share of what the buffaloes were sold for, and that was to 
be paid in money. The captain, therefore, though sore 
against his will, resolved to pay five guineas apiece for one 
or two buffaloes, and try to buy the Test for muskets. Ac- 
cordingly, no sooner had he hinted his mind to the Portu- 
guese Indian, than a buffalo, but a very small one, was 
brought down, and five guineas given for it : two larger ones 
followed immediately, for one of which a musket, and for 
the other five guineas was given. There was now no more 
occasion for money, we picked them just as we chose for a 
musket apiece. We bought nine, as many as we thought 
would last us to Batavia, especially as we had little or no 
victuals, but so ill were we provided with cords that three 
of the nine broke from us ; two of these the Indians re- 
covered, but the third got quite off, though our people, 
assisted by the Indians, followed it for three hours. 

In the evening Mr. Lange came down to the beach, 
softened by the money which, no doubt, he had received, 
and took frequent occasions of letting us know that if we 
pleased we might come ashore the next day. Our business 
was, however, quite done, so to fulfil a promise which we 
had made, he was presented with a small cag of beer, and 
we took our leave as good friends as possible. 

I have been very diffuse and particular in mentioning 
every trifling circumstance which occurred in this transac- 
tion, as this may perhaps be the only opportunity I shall 
ever have of visiting an island of great consequence to the 
Dutch, and scarcely known to any other Europeans, even 
by name. I can find it in only one of the draughts, and 

SEPT. 1770 SPICES 339 

that an old one printed by Mount and Page, the Lord 
knows when, which has it by the name of Sau, but con- 
founds it with Sandel Bosch, which is laid down quite 
wrong. Eumphius mentions an island by the name of 
Saow, and says it is that which is called by the Dutch 
Sandel Bosch, but no chart that I have seen lays either that, 
Timor, Eotte, or indeed any island that we have seen here- 
abouts, in anything near its right place. 

While we were here an accident happened by the im- 
prudence of Mr. Parkinson, my draughtsman, which might 
alone have altered our intended and at first promised recep- 
tion very much ; indeed, I am of opinion that it did. He, 
desirous of knowing whether or not this island produced 
spices, carried ashore with him nutmegs, cloves, etc., and 
questioned the inhabitants about them without the least 
precaution, so that it immediately came to Mr. Lange's ears. 
He complained to the doctor that our people were too in- 
quisitive, particularly, says he, " in regard to spices, concern- 
ing which they can have no reason to wish for any informa- 
tion unless you are come for very different purposes than 
those you pretend." The doctor, not well versed in the 
German language, in which they conversed, immediately 
conceived that Mr. Lange meant only some questions which 
he himself had asked concerning the cinnamon ; nor did we 
ever know the contrary till the day after we had left the 
place, when Mr. Parkinson boasted of the information we 
had obtained of these people certainly having a knowledge 
of the spices, as they had in their language names for them. 



Mr. Lange's account Political divisions of the island Its general appear- 
ance Productions Buffaloes Horses Sheep Fish Vegetables 
Fan-palm Liquor Sugar-making Fire-holes for cooking Sustaining 
qualities of sugar Description of the natives Dress Ornaments 
Chewing betel, areca, lime, and tobacco Construction of their houses 
Looms and spinning-machines Surgery Religion Christian converts 
Radjas Slaves Large stones of honour Feasts Military Weapons 
Relations with the Dutch Mynheer Lange Language Neighbouring 
islands Wreck of a French ship Dutch policy with regard to language. 

I SHALL now proceed to give such an account of the island 
as I could get together during our stay, which, short as it 
was, was so taken up with procuring refreshments, in which 
occupation every one was obliged to exert himself, that very 
little, I confess, is from my own observation. Almost every- 
thing is gathered from the conversation of Mr. Lange, who 
at first and at the end was very free and open, and, I am 
inclined to believe, did not deceive us in what he told us, 
how much soever he might conceal ; except, perhaps, in the 
strength and warlike disposition of the islanders, which 
account seems to contradict itself, as one can hardly imagine 
these people to be of a warlike disposition who have con- 
tinued in peace time out of mind. As for the other islands 
in this neighbourhood, his information was all we had to go 
upon. I would not, however, neglect to set it down, though 
in general it was of little more consequence than to confirm 
the policy of the Dutch in confining their spices to parti- 
cular isles, which, being full of them, cannot supply them- 
selves with provisions. 


The little island of Savu, which, trifling as it is, appears 
to me to be of no small consequence to the Dutch East India 
Company, is situate in lat. 10 35' S. and long. 122 30' E. 1 
from the meridian of Greenwich : its length and breadth are 
nearly the same, viz. about 6 German or 24 English miles. 
The whole is divided into five principalities, nigries as they 
are called by the Indians, Zaai, Seba, Regeeua, Timo, and 
Massara, each governed by its respective radja or king. It 
has three harbours, all good ; the best is Timo, situate some- 
where round the S.E. point of the isle ; the next, Seba, where 
we anchored, situate round the N.W. point : of the third we 
learnt neither the name nor situation, only guess it to be 
somewhere 011 the south side. Off the west end of the 
island is another called Pulo, with an additional name, which 
in the hurry of business was forgotten, and never again 
asked for. 

The appearance of the island, especially on the windward 
side where we first made it, was allowed by us all to equal 
in beauty, if not excel, anything we had seen, even parched 
up as it was by a drought, which, Mr. Lange informed us, 
had continued for seven months without a drop of rain, the 
last rainy season having entirely failed them. Verdure, 
indeed, there was at this time no sign of, but the gentle 
sloping of the hills, which were cleared quite to the top, 
and planted in every part with thick groves of the fan-palm, 
besides woods almost of cocoanut trees, arecas which grew 
near the seaside, filled the eye so completely that it hardly 
looked for or missed the verdure of the earth, a circumstance 
seldom seen in any perfection so near the line. How 
beautiful it must appear when covered with its springing 
crops of maize, millet, indigo, etc., which cover almost every 
foot of ground in the cultivated parts of the island, imagina- 
tion can hardly conceive. The verdure of Europe, set off 
by those stately pillars of India, palms I mean especially 
the fan-palm, which for straightness and proportion, both of 
the stem itself and of the head to the stem, far excels all the 

1 The latitude and longitude were left blank : they ".have been filled in 
from Cook's Journal. 


palms that I have seen requires a poetical imagination to 
describe, and a mind not unacquainted with such sights to 

The productions of this island are buffaloes, sheep, hogs, 
fowls, horses, asses, maize, guinea corn, rice, calevances, limes, 
oranges, mangroves, plantains, water-melons, tamarinds, 
sweet sops (Annona); blimbi (Averrhoa lilimbi}, besides 
cocoanuts and fan-palms, which last are in sufficient quantity, 
should all other crops fail, to support the whole island, 
people, stock, and all, who have at times been obliged to 
live upon its sugar, syrup, and wines for some months. We 
saw also a small quantity of European garden herbs, as 
celery, marjoram, fennel, and garlic, and one single sugar- 
cane. Besides these necessaries, it has for the supply of 
luxury betel and areca, tobacco, cotton, indigo, and a little 
cinnamon, only planted for curiosity, said Mr. Lange ; indeed, 
I almost doubt whether or not it was genuine cinnamon, as 
the Dutch have been always so careful not to trust any 
spices out of their proper islands. Besides these were prob- 
ably other things which we had not an opportunity of see- 
ing, and which Mr. Lange forgot or did not choose to 

All their produce is in amazing abundance, so we judged 
at least from the plantations we saw, though this year every 
crop had failed for want of rain. Most of them are well 
known to Europeans : I shall, however, spend a little ink in 
describing such only as are not, or as differ at all in appear- 
ance from those commonly known. To begin then with 
buffaloes, of which they have got good store ; these beasts 
differ from our cattle in Europe in their ears, which are 
considerably larger, in their skins, which are almost without 
hair, and in their horns, which, instead of bending forwards 
as ours do, bend directly backwards, and also in their total 
want of dewlaps. We saw some of these as big as well- 
sized European oxen, and some there must be much larger ; 
so at least I was led to believe by a pair of horns which 
I measured : they were from tip to tip 3 feet 9|- inches, 
across their widest diameter 4 feet 1|- inch; the whole 

SEPT. 1770 QUADRUPEDS . 343 

sweep of their semicircle in front 7 feet 6J inches. One 
caution is, however, exceedingly necessary in buying these 
beasts, which is that one of them of any given size does not 
weigh half as much as an ox of the same size in England ; 
in this we, who were ignorant of the fact, were very much 
deceived. The larger animals which we guessed to be 400 
Ibs. did not weigh more than 250, and the smaller which 
we guessed to be 250 not more than 160 ; this vast differ- 
ence proceeded first from a total want of fat, of which there 
was not the least sign, but more especially from the thinness 
of the flanks, and thin pieces which were literally nothing 
but skin and bone. Their flesh, notwithstanding this, was 
not bad ; it was well tasted and full of gravy : not that I 
can put it on a footing with the leanest beef in England, 
yet I should suppose it better than a lean ox would be in 
this burnt-up climate. 

Mr. Lange told us that when the Portuguese first came 
to this island there were horses upon it, an opinion from 
which I confess I rather apostatise ; but, to waive the 
dispute, horses are now very plentiful. They are small, 
generally eleven or twelve hands high, but very brisk and 
nimble, especially in pacing, which is their common step. 
The inhabitants appear to be tolerable horsemen, riding 
always without a saddle, and generally with only a halter 
instead of a bridle. This is not, however, the only benefit 
that these islanders receive from them, for they use them as 
food, and prefer their flesh to that of buffaloes and every 
other sort but swine's flesh, which holds the highest rank 
in their opinion. 

Their sheep are of the kind that I have seen in England 
under the name of Bengal sheep ; they differ from ours in 
having hair instead of wool, in their ears being very large 
and flapping down, their horns almost straight, and in their 
noses, which are much more arched than those of our 
European kind. These sheep are, I believe, very frequently 
called cabritos, from their resemblance to goats, which, though 
I cannot say it appeared to me at all striking, yet had such 
an effect on the whole ship's company, officers and seamen, 


that not one would believe them to be sheep till they heard 
their voices, which are precisely the same as those of European 
ones. Their flesh was like that of the buffaloes, lean and 
void of flavour, to me the worst mutton I have ever eaten. 

Their fowls are chiefly of the game breed and large ; but 
the eggs are the smallest I have ever seen. 

Besides these animals there are great plenty of dogs, 
some cats and rats, and a few pigeons, of which I saw three 
or four pair. Nor are any of these animals exempted from 
furnishing their part towards the support of polyphagous 
man, except the rats, which alone they do not eat. 

Fish appeared to us to be scarce, indeed it was but little 
valued by these islanders, none but the very inferior people 
ever eating it, and these only at the time when their duties 
or business required them to be down upon the sea beach. 
In this case every man was provided with a light casting- 
net, which was girt round him and served as part of his 
dress ; with this he took any small fish which might happen 
to come in his way. Turtles are scarce ; they are esteemed 
a good food, but are very seldom taken. 

Of the vegetables most are well known. The sweet sop 
is a pleasant fruit well known to the West Indians. Blimbi 
alone is not mentioned by any voyage- writer I have met with : 
it is a small oval fruit, thickest in the middle and tapering a 
little to each end, three or four inches in length, and scarcely 
as large as a man's finger ; the outside is covered with very 
thin skin of a light green colour, and in the inside are a few 
seeds disposed in the form of a star ; its flavour is a light, 
but very clean and pleasant acid. It cannot be eaten raw, 
but is said to be excellent in pickles ; we stewed it and made 
sour sauce to our stews and bouilli, which was very grateful 
to the taste, and doubtless possessed no small share of anti- 
scorbutic virtues. But what seems to be the genuine natural 
production of the island, and which they have in the greatest 
abundance and take the most care of, is the fan-palm or toddy- 
tree (Borassus flcibellifer). Large groves of these trees are 
to be seen in all parts of the island, under which other crops, 
as maize, indigo, etc., are planted, so that in reality they take 


up no room, though they yield the treble advantage of fruit, 
liquor, and sugar, all, but especially the two last, in great 
profusion. The leaves also serve to thatch their houses, and 
to make baskets, umbrellas (or rather small conical bonnets), 
caps, tobacco pipes, etc. etc. The fruit, which is least 
esteemed, is also in the least plenty ; it is a nut about as 
big as a child's head, covered like a cocoanut with a fibrous 
coat under which are three kernels which must be eaten 
before they are ripe, otherwise they become too hard to chew. 
In their proper state they a good deal resemble in taste the 
kernel of an unripe cocoanut, and like them probably afford 
but a watery nutriment. The excellence of the palm wine 
or toddy which is drawn from this tree makes, however, 
ample amends for the poorness of its fruit. It is got by 
cutting the buds, which should produce flowers, soon after 
their appearance, and tying under them a small basket made 
of the leaves of the same tree ; into this the liquor drips, 
and must be collected by people who climb the trees for that 
purpose every morning and evening. This is the common 
drink of every one upon the island, and a very pleasant one 
it was so to us, even at first, only rather too sweet ; its anti- 
scorbutic virtues, as the fresh unfermented juice of a tree, 
cannot be doubted. 

Notwithstanding that this liquor is the common drink of 
both rich and poor, who in the morning and evening drink 
nothing else, a much larger quantity is drawn off daily than 
is sufficient for that use. Of this they make a syrup and a 
coarse sugar, both which are far more agreeable to the taste 
than they appear to the sight. The liquor is called in the 
language of the island dua or duac, the syrup and sugar by 
one and the same name, gula ; it is exactly the same as the 
jagara sugar on the continent of India, and prepared by 
simply boiling down the liquor in earthenware pots until it 
is sufficiently thick. In appearance it exactly resembles 
molasses or treacle, only it is considerably thicker ; in taste, 
however, it much excels it, having, instead of the abominable 
twang which treacle leaves in the mouth, only a little burnt 
flavour, which was very agreeable to our palates. The 


sugar is reddish brown, but more clear tasted than any un- 
refined cane-sugar, resembling mostly brown sugar candy. 
The syrup seemed to be very wholesome, for though many 
of our people ate enormous quantities of it, it hurt 

Firewood is very scarce here ; to remedy, therefore, that 
inconvenience as much as possible, they make use of a con- 
trivance which is not unknown in Europe, though seldom 
practised but in camps. It is a burrow or pipe dug in the 
ground as long as convenient, generally about two yards, and 
open at each end ; the one opening of this, into which they 
put the fire, is large ; the other, which serves only to cause a 
draught, is much smaller. Immediately over this pipe circular 
holes are dug which reach quite down into it : in these the 
earthen pots are set (about three to such a fire) ; they are 
large in the middle and taper towards the bottom, by which 
means the fire acts upon a large part of their surface. It is 
really marvellous to see with how small a quantity of fire 
they will keep these pots boiling, each of which contains 
eight or ten gallons ; a palm leaf or a dry stalk now and 
then is sufficient ; indeed, it seemed in that part of the island, 
at least, where we were, that the palms alone supplied 
sufficient fuel, not only for boiling the sugar, but for dressing 
all their victuals, besides those which are cooked by this con- 
trivance. How many parts of England are there where this 
contrivance would be of material assistance to not only the 
poor, but the better sort of people, who daily complain of the 
dearness of fuel, a charge which this contrivance alone would 
doubtless diminish by at least one-third. But it is well known 
how averse the good people of England, especially of that 
class that may be supposed to be not above want, are to 
adopt any new custom which savours of parsimony. I have 
been told that this very method was proposed in the Gentle- 
man's Magazine many years ago, but have not the book on 
board. Fre'zier, in his voyage to the South Sea, describes a 
contrivance of the Peruvian Indians upon the same principles, 
plate 31, p. 273, but his drawing and plan are difficult to 
understand, if not actually very faulty, and his description is 


nothing ; the drawing may serve, however, to give an idea to 
a man who has never seen a thing of the kind. 

The syrup or gula which they make in this manner is so 
nourishing that Mr. Lange told us that it alone fed and 
fattened their hogs, dogs, and fowls, and that men themselves 
could and had sometimes lived upon it alone for a long time, 
when by bad seasons, or their destructive feasts, which I 
shall mention by and by, they have been deprived of all other 
nourishment. We saw some of the swine, whose uncommon 
fatness surprised us much, which very beasts we saw one 
evening served with their suppers, consisting of nothing but 
the outside husks of rice and this syrup dissolved in water. 
This they told us was their constant and only food ; how far 
it may be found consonant to truth that sugar alone should 
have such nourishing qualities I shall leave to others to 
determine ; I have only accounts, not experience, to favour 
that opinion. 

The people of this island are rather under than over the 
middling size, the women especially, most of whom are remark- 
ably short and generally squat built. Their colour is well 
tinged with brown, and in all ranks and conditions nearly the 
same, in which particular they differ much from the inhabit- 
ants of the South Sea Isles, where the better sort of people 
are almost universally whiter than their inferiors. The men 
are rather well made, and seem to be active and nimble ; 
among them we observed a greater variety of features than 
usual. The women on the other hand are far from handsome, 
and have a kind of sameness of features among them which 
might well account for the chastity of the men, for which 
virtue this island is said to be remarkable. The hair of both 
sexes is universally black and lank ; the men wear it long, 
and fastened upon the tops of their heads with a comb ; the 
women have theirs also long, and tied behind into a kind of 
not very becoming club. 

Both men and women dress in a kind of blue and white 
clouded cotton cloth, which they manufacture themselves : 
of this two pieces, each about two yards long, serve for a 
dress. One of these is worn round the middle ; this the 


men wear pretty tight, but it makes a kind of loose belt, in 
which they carry their knives, etc., and often many other 
things, so that it serves entirely the purpose of pockets. 
The other piece is tucked into this girdle, and reaching over 
the shoulders, passes down to the girdle on the other side, so 
that by opening or folding it they can cover more or less of 
their bodies as they please. The arms, legs, and feet of 
both sexes are consequently bare, as are the heads of the 
women, which is their chief distinction by which they are 
at once known from the men, who always wear something 
wrapped round theirs, which, though small, is of the finest 
material they can procure ; many we saw had silk handker- 
chiefs, which seemed to be much in fashion. 

The distinction of the women's dress, except only the 
head, consists merely in the manner of wearing their clothes, 
which are of the same materials and the same quality as 
the men's. Their waist -cloths reach down below the 
knees, and their body-cloths are tied under their arms and 
over their breasts. Both sexes eradicate the hair from 
under their armpits, a custom in these hot climates almost 
essential to cleanliness ; the men also pluck out their beards, 
for which purpose the better sort carry always a pair of 
silver pincers hanging round their necks : some, however, 
wear a little hair on their upper lips, but they never suffer 
it to grow long. 

Ornaments they have many ; some of the better sort wear 
gold chains round their necks, but these were chiefly made 
of plated wire of little value ; others had rings which, by 
their appearance, seemed to have been worn out some 
generations ago. One had a silver-headed cane, on the top 
of which was engraved ~fi, so that it had probably been a 
present from the East India Company. Besides these, beads 
were worn, chiefly by the men of distinction, round their necks 
in the form of a solitaire ; others had them round their 
wrists, etc., but the women had the largest quantity, which 
they wore round their waists in the form of a girdle, serving 
to keep up their waist-cloths. Both sexes universally had 
their ears bored, but we never saw any ornaments in them, 


indeed, we never saw any one man dressed the whole time 
we were there in anything more than his ordinary clothes. 
Some boys of twelve or fourteen years of age wore circles of 
thick brass wire, passed screw-fashion three or four times 
round their arms above the elbow : and some men wore 
convex rings of ivory, two inches in breadth, and above an 
inch in thickness, in the same manner above the joint of the 
elbow. These we were told were the sons of Eadjas, who 
alone had the privilege of wearing these cumbersome badges 
of high birth. 

Almost all the men had their names traced upon their 
arms in indelible characters of black ; the women had a 
square ornament of nourished lines on the inner part of each 
arm, just under the bend of the elbow ; on inquiring into 
the antiquity of this custom, so consonant with that of 
tattowing in the South Sea Islands, Mr. Lange told us that 
it had been among these people long before the Europeans 
came here, but was less used in this than in most islands 
in the neighbourhood, in some of which the people marked 
circles round their necks, breasts, etc. 

Both sexes are continually employed in chewing betel 
and areca ; the consequence is that their teeth, as long as 
they have any, are dyed of that filthy black colour which 
constantly attends the rottenness of a tooth, for it appears 
to me that from their first use of this custom, which they 
begin very young, their teeth are affected and continue by 
gradual degrees to waste away till they are quite worn to 
the stumps, which seems to happen before old age. I have 
seen men, in appearance between twenty and thirty, whose 
fore teeth were almost entirely gone, no two being of the 
same length or the same thickness, but every one eaten to 
unevenness as iron is by rust. This loss of the teeth is 
attributed by all whose writings on the subject I have read, 
to the tough and stringy coat of the areca nut, but in my 
opinion is much more easily accounted for by the well- 
known corrosive quality of the lime, which is a necessary 
ingredient in every mouthful, and that too in no very 
insignificant quantity. This opinion seems to me to be 


almost put out of dispute by the manner in which their 
teeth are destroyed ; they are not loosened or drawn out as 
they would be by the too frequent labour of chewing tough 
substances, but melt away and decay as metals in strong 
acids ; the stumps always remaining firmly adhering to the 
jaws, just level with the gums. Possibly the ill-effects 
which sugar is believed by us Europeans to have upon the 
teeth may proceed from the same cause, as it is well known 
that refined or loaf-sugar contains in it a large quantity of 

To add flavour, I suppose, to the betel and areca, some 
use with it a small quantity of tobacco, adding the nauseous 
smell of that herb to the not less disagreeable look of the 
other, as if they were resolved to make their mouths dis- 
gustful to the sense of smell as well as that of sight. 
They also smoke, rolling up a small quantity of tobacco in 
one end of a palm leaf, about as thick as a quill and six 
inches long ; of this not above one inch is filled with tobacco, 
so that the quantity is very small. To make amends for 
this the women especially often swallow the smoke, which 
no doubt increases its effects in no small degree. 

Their houses are all built upon one and the same plan, 
differing only in size according to the rank and riches of 
the proprietors, some being 300 or 400 feet in length, and 
others not 20. They consist of a well-boarded floor, raised 
upon posts three or four feet from the ground ; over this is 
raised a roof shelving like ours in Europe, and supported by 
pillars of its own, independent of the floor. The eaves of 
this reach within two feet of the floor, but overhang it by 
as much ; this arrangement serves to let in air and light, 
and makes them very cool and agreeable. The space within 
is generally divided into two by a partition, which takes off 
one -third: in front of this partition is a loft, shut up 
close on all sides, raised about six feet from the ground, and 
occupying the centre of the house. There are sometimes 
one or two small rooms on the sides of the house. The use 
of these different apartments we did not learn, we only were 
told that the loft was appropriated to the women. 


The shortness of our stay and the few opportunities we 
had of going among these people, gave us no opportunity of 
seeing what arts or manufactures they might have among 
them. That they spin, weave, and dye their cloth we, how- 
ever, made shift to learn, for though we never saw them 
practise any of these arts, yet the instruments accidentally 
fell in our way ; first, a machine for clearing cotton of 
its seeds, which was in miniature much upon the same 
principles as ours in Europe. It consisted of two cylinders 
about as thick as a man's thumb, one of which was turned 
round by a plain winch handle, and that turned the other 
round by an endless worm at their extremities ; the whole 
was not above seven inches high and about twice as long. 
How it answered, I know not, but do know that it had been 
much worked, and that there were many pieces of cotton 
hanging on different parts of it, which alone induced me to 
believe it a real machine, otherwise, from its slightness, I 
should have taken it for no more than a Dutch toy of the 
best sort. Their spinning gear I also once saw ; it consisted 
of a bobbin on ; hich a small quantity of thread was wound, 
and a kind of distaff filled with cotton, from whence I con- 
jecture that they spin by hand, as our women in Europe 
did before wheels were introduced, and I am told still do in 
some parts of Europe where that improvement is not 
received. Their loom I also saw ; it had this merit over 
ours, that the web was not stretched on a frame, but only 
extended by a piece of wood at each end, round one of 
which the cloth was rolled as the threads were round the 
other. I had not an opportunity of seeing it used, so cannot 
at all describe it ; I can say only that it appeared very simple, 
much more so than ours, and that the shuttle was as long 
as the breadth of the web, which was about half a yard. 
From this circumstance, and the unsteadiness of a web fixed 
to nothing, the work must in all probability go on very 
slowly. That they dyed their own cloth we first guessed by 
the indigo which we saw in their plantations, which guess 
was afterwards confirmed by Mr. Lange. We likewise saw 
them dye women's girdles of a dirty, reddish colour ; their 


cloth itself was universally dyed in the yarn with blue, 
which, being unevenly and irregularly done, gave the cloth 
a clouding or waving of colour, not inelegant even in our 

One chirurgical operation of theirs Mr. Lange mentioned 
to us with great praise, and indeed it appears sensible. It 
is a method of curing wounds, which they do by first wash- 
ing the wound in water in which tamarinds have been 
steeped, then plugging it up with a pledget of the fat of 
fresh pork. In this manner the wound is thoroughly 
cleansed, and the pledget renewed every day. He told us 
that by this means they had a very little while ago cured a 
man in three weeks of a wound from a lance which had 
pierced his arm and half through his body. This is the 
only part of their medicinal or chirurgical art which came 
to our knowledge ; indeed, they did not seem to outward 
appearance to have much occasion for either, but on the 
contrary appeared healthy, and did not show, by scars of 
old sores or any scurviness upon their bodies, a tendency to 
disease. Some, indeed, were pitted with the smallpox, 
which Mr. Lange told us had been now and then among 
them ; in which case all who were seized by the distemper 
were carried to lonely places, far from habitations, where 
they were left to the influence of their distemper, meat only 
being daily reached to them by the assistance of a long 

Their religion, according to the account of Mr. Lange, is 
a most absurd kind of paganism, every man choosing his 
own god, and also his mode of worshipping him, in which 
hardly any two agree, notwithstanding which their morals 
are most excellent, Mr. Lange declaring to us that he did 
not believe that during his residence of ten years upon the 
island a single theft had been committed. Polygamy is by 
no means permitted, each man being allowed no more than 
one wife, to whom he is to adhere during life ; even the 
E-adja himself has no more. 

The Dutch boast that they make many converts to 
Christianity; Mr. Lange said that there were 600 in the 


township of Seba, where we were. What sort of Christians 
they are I cannot say, as they have neither clergymen nor 
church among them ; the Company have, however, certainly 
been at the expense of printing versions of the New Testa- 
ment, catechisms, etc. etc., in this and several other languages, 
and actually keep a half-bred Dutchman, whose name is 
Frederick Craig, in their service, who is paid by them for 
instructing the youth of the island in reading, writing, and 
the principles of the Christian religion. Dr. Solander was 
at his house, and saw not only the Testaments and 
catechisms before mentioned, but also the copy-books of the 

The island is divided into five principalities, each of which 
has its respective radja or king ; what his power may be we 
had no opportunity of learning. In outward appearance 
he had but little recognition shown to him, yet every kind 
of business seemed to centre in him and his chief councillor, 
so that in reality he seemed to be more regarded in essentials 
than in showy useless ceremonies. The reigning Eadja, while 
we were there, was called Madocho Lomi Djara, he was 
about thirty-five, the fattest man we saw upon the whole 
island, and the only one upon whose body grew any quantity 
of hair, a circumstance very unusual among Indians. He 
appeared of a heavy, dull disposition, and I believe was 
governed almost entirely by a very sensible old man called 
Mannudjame, who was beloved by the whole principality. 
Both these were distinguished from the rest of the natives 
by their dress, which was always a night-gown, generally of 
coarse chintz ; once, indeed, the Eadja received us in form 
in one of Black Prince's stuff, which I suppose may be 
looked upon as more grave and proper to inspire respect. 
If any differences arise between the people, they are settled 
by the Eadja and his councillors without the least delay or 
appeal, and, says Mr. Lange, always with the strictest 
justice. So excellent is the disposition of these people that 
if any dispute arise between any two of them, they never, 
if it is of consequence, more than barely mention it to 
each other, never allowing themselves to reason upon it lest 

2 A 


heat should beget ill-blood, but refer it immediately to this 

After the Eadja we could hear of no ranks of people but 
landowners, respectable according to the quantity of their 
land ; and slaves, the property of the former, over whom, 
however, they have no other power than that of selling 
them for what they will fetch, when convenient; no man 
being able to punish his slave without the concurrence and 
approbation of the Kadja. Of these slaves some men have 
500, others only two or three; what was their price 
in general we did not learn, only heard by accident that a 
very fat hog was of the value of a slave, and often bought 
and sold at that price. When any great man stirs out he 
is constantly attended by two or more of these slaves, one 
of whom carries a sword or hanger, commonly with a silver 
hilt, and ornamented with large tassels of horse hair ; the 
other carries a bag containing betel, areca, lime, tobacco, 
etc. In these attendants all .their idea of show and 
grandeur seems to be centred, for we never saw the Radja 
himself with any more. 

The pride of descent, particularly of being sprung from a 
family which has for many generations been respected, is by 
no means unknown here; even living in a house which has 
been for generations well attended is no small honour. It is 
a consequence of this that few articles, either of use or 
luxury, bear so high a price as those stones which by having 
been very much sat upon by men have contracted a bright 
polish on their uneven surfaces ; those who can purchase 
such stones, or who have them by inheritance from their 
ancestors, place them round their houses, where they serve 
as benches for their dependents, I suppose to be still more 
and more polished. 

Every Eadja during his lifetime sets up in his capital 
town, or nigrie, a large stone, which serves futurity as a 
testimony of his reign. In the nigrie Seba, where we lay, 
were thirteen such stones, besides many fragments, the 
seeming remains of those which had been devoured by time. 
Many of these were very large, so much so that it would be 


difficult to conceive how the strength of man alone, 
unassisted by engines, had been able to transport them to 
the top of the hill where they now stand, were there not in 
Europe so many far grander instances of the perseverance as 
well as the strength of our own forefathers. These stones serve 
for a very peculiar use ; upon the death of a Eadja a general 
feast is proclaimed throughout his dominions, and in conse- 
quence all his subjects meet about the stones. Every living 
creature that can be caught is now killed, and the feast 
lasts a longer or shorter number of weeks or months accord- 
ing to the stock of provisions the kingdom happens to be 
furnished with at the time. The stones serve for tables, on 
which whole buffaloes are served up. After this madness 
is over, the whole kingdom is obliged to fast and live upon 
syrup and water till the next crop ; nor are they able to eat 
any flesh till some years after, when the few animals which 
have escaped the general slaughter and been preserved by 
policy, or which they have acquired from neighbouring 
kingdoms, have sufficiently increased their species. 

The five kingdoms, says Mr. Lange, of which this island 
consists, have been from time immemorial not only at 
peace, but in strict alliance with each other ; notwithstand- 
ing which they are of a warlike disposition, constant 
friends but implacable enemies, and have always courage- 
ously defended themselves against foreign invaders. They 
are able to raise on a very short notice 7300 men, armed 
with muskets, lances, spears, and targets : of these the 
different kingdoms bear their different proportions 
Laai 2600, Seba 2000, Eegeeua 1500, Timo 800, and 
Massara 400. Besides the arms before mentioned, every 
man is furnished with a large chopping -knife, like a 
straightened wood-bill, but much heavier, which must be a 
terrible weapon, if these people should have spirit enough 
to come to close quarters. Mr. Lange upon another occa- 
sion took an opportunity of telling us that they heave their 
lances with surprising dexterity, being able at the distance 
of sixty feet to strike a man's heart and pierce him through. 
How far these dreadful accounts of their martial prowess 


might be true I dare not take upon myself to determine ; 
all I shall say is that during our stay we saw no signs 
either of a warlike disposition or such formidable arms. Of 
spears and targets, indeed, there were about a hundred in 
the Dutch house, the largest of which spears served to arm 
the people who came down to intimidate us ; but so little 
did these doughty heroes think of fighting, or indeed keep- 
ing up appearances, that instead of a target each was 
furnished with a cock, some tobacco, or something of that 
kind, which he took this opportunity of bringing down to 
sell. Their spears seem all to have been brought to them 
by Europeans, the refuse of old armouries, no two being any- 
thing near the same length, varying in that particular from 
six feet to sixteen. As for their lances, not one of us saw 
one. Their muskets, though clean on the outside, were 
honeycombed with rust on the inside. Few or none of 
their cartridge-boxes had either powder or ball in them. 
To complete all, the swivels and patereroes at the Dutch 
house were all lying out of their carriages ; and the one 
great gun which lay before it on a heap of stones was not 
only more honeycombed with rust than any piece of artil- 
lery I have ever seen, but had the touch-hole turned down- 
wards, probably to conceal its size, which might not be in 
all probability much less than the bore of the gun itself. 
The Dutch, however, use these islanders as auxiliaries in 
their wars against the inhabitants of Timor, where they do 
good service ; their lives at all events not being nearly so 
valuable as those of the Dutchmen. 

This island was settled by the Portuguese almost as soon 
as they went into these seas. When the Dutch first came 
here the Portuguese, however, were very soon wormed out by 
the machinations of the artful new-comers, who not only 
attempted to settle themselves in the island, but also sent 
sloops occasionally to trade with the natives, by whom they 
were often cut off ; as often, I suppose, as they cheated them 
in too great a degree. This, however, and the probably 
increasing value of the island, at last tempted them to try 
some other way of securing it, and running less risk. This 


took place about ten years ago, when a treaty of alliance 
was signed between the five Eadjas and the Dutch Com- 
pany ; in consequence of which the Company is yearly to 
furnish each of these kings with a certain quantity of fine 
linen and silk, cutlery ware, etc., in short, of any kind of 
goods which he wants, all which is delivered in the form of 
a present accompanied with a certain cask of arrack, which 
the Eadja and his principal people never cease to drink as 
long as a drop of it remains. In return for this, each Eadja 
agrees that neither he nor his subjects shall trade with any 
person except the Company, unless they have the permission 
of their resident, that they shall yearly supply so many 
sloop -loads of rice, maize, and calevances, the maize and 
calevances being sent off to Timor in sloops, which are kept 
on the island for that purpose. Each sloop is navigated by 
ten Indians. The rice is taken away by a ship, which at the 
time of the harvest comes to the island annually, bringing 
the Company's presents, and anchoring by turns in each of 
the three bays. 

In consequence of this treaty, Mr. Lange, a Portuguese 
Indian, who seems to be his second, and a Dutch Indian, 
who serves for schoolmaster, are permitted to live among 

Mr. Lange himself is attended by fifty slaves on 
horseback, with whom he every two months makes the 
tour of the island, visiting all the Eadjas, exhorting those 
to plant who seem idle ; and, observing where the crops are 
got in, he immediately sends sloops for them, navigated by 
these same slaves, so that the crop proceeds immediately 
from the ground to the Dutch storehouses at Timor. In 
these excursions he always carries certain bottles of arrack, 
which he finds of great use in opening the hearts of the 
Eadjas with whom he has to deal. Notwithstanding the 
boasted honesty of these people, it requires his utmost 
diligence to keep the arrack from his slaves, who, in spite of 
all his care, often ease him of a great part of it. During 
the ten years that he has resided on this island no European 
but himself has ever been here, except at the time of the 




arrival of the Dutch ship which had sailed about two 
months before we came. He is indeed distinguishable 
from the Indians only by his colour; like them he sits 
upon the ground and chews his betel, etc. He has been 
for some years married to an Indian woman of the island 
of Timor, who keeps his house in the Indian fashion, and he 
excused himself to us for not asking us to his house, 
telling us he was not able to entertain us in any other 
way than the rest of the Indians whom we saw. He 
speaks neither German, his native language, nor Dutch, 
without frequent hesitations and mistakes ; on the other 
hand, the Indian language seems to flow from him with the 
utmost facility. As I forgot to mention this language in 
its proper place, I shall take this opportunity to write 
down the few observations I had an opportunity of making 
during our short stay. The genius of it seems much to 
resemble that of the South Sea Isles ; in several instances 
the words are exactly the same, and the numbers are 
undoubtedly derived from the same source. I give here a 
list of words : 


a man 


the moon 


a woman 


the sea 


the head 



Row Catoo 

the hair 




the eyes 


to dye 

Rowna Matta 

the eyelashes 


to sleep 


the nose 

Ta teetoo 

to rise 


the cheeks 


the thighs 


the ears 


the knees 


the tongue 


the legs 


the neck 


the feet 


the breasts 

Kissovei yilla 

the toes 

Caboo Soosoo 

the nipples 


the arms 


the belly 


the hand 


the navel 


a buffalo 


the tail 


a horse 


the beak 


a hog 


the fish 


a sheep 


a turtle 


a goat 




a dog 


fan -palm 


a cat 




a fowl 










a fish-hook 








the sun 






Lhuangooroo, etc. 




Sing Assu, etc. 




Setuppah, etc. 




Selacussa, etc. 




Serata, etc. 


SingooringUsse, etc. 


Sereboo, etc. 


In the course of conversation Mr. Lange gave us little 
accounts of the neighbouring islands ; these I shall set down 
just as he gave them, merely upon his authority. 

The small island to the westward of Savu, he said, 
produces nothing of consequence except areca nuts, of which 
the Dutch annually receive two sloop-loads in return for 
their presents to the islanders. 

Timor is the chief island in these parts belonging to the 
Dutch, all the others in the neighbourhood being subject to 
it in so far as that the residents on them go there once a 
year to pass their accounts. It is now nearly in the same 
state that it was in Dampier's time. The Dutch have their 
fort of Concordia, where are storehouses, which, according 
to Mr. Lange's account, would have supplied our ship with 
every article we could have got at Batavia, even salt provi- 
sions and arrack. The Dutch, however, are very frequently 
at war with the natives, even of Copang, 1 their next neigh- 
bours, in which case they are themselves obliged to send to 
the neighbouring isles for provisions. The Portuguese still 
possess their towns of Laphao and Sesial on the north side 
of the island. 

About two years ago a French ship was wrecked upon 
the east coast of Timor. She lay some days upon the shoal, 
when a sudden gale of wind coming on broke her up at 
once and drowned most of the crew, among whom was the 
captain. Those who got ashore, among whom was one of 
the lieutenants, made the best of their ways towards 
Concordia, where they arrived in four days, having left 
several of their party upon the road. Their number was 
above eighty ; they were supplied with every necessary, and 
had assistance given them in order to go back to the 
wreck and fish up what they could. This they did, and 

1 Part of Timor, near Concordia. 


recovered all their bullion, which was in chests, and several 
of their guns, which were large. Their companions which 
they had left upon the road were all missing ; the Indians 
it was supposed had either by force or persuasion kept them 
among them, as they are very desirous of having Europeans 
among them to instruct them in the art of war. After a 
stay of two months at Concordia, their company was 
diminished more than half by sickness, chiefly in consequence 
of the great fatigues they had endured in the days when 
they got ashore, and travelled to that place. These were 
then furnished with a small ship, in which they sailed for 

We inquired much for the island qf Andbao or Anambao, 
mentioned by Dampier ; he assured us that he knew of no 
island of that name anywhere in these seas. I since have 
observed that it is laid down in several charts by the name 
of Selam? which is probably the real name of it. Rotte is 
upon much the same footing as Savu : a Dutchman resides 
upon it to manage the natives ; its produce is also much 
like that of Savu. It has also some sugar, which was 
formerly made by simply bruising the canes and boiling the 
juice to a syrup, as they do the palm wine ; lately, however, 
they have made great improvements in that manufacture. 
There are three islands of the name of Solar lying to the 
eastward of Ende or Flares: they are flat and low, abound- 
ing with vast quantity of provisions and stock : they are 
also managed in the same manner as Savu. On the middle- 
most of them is a good harbour, the other two are without 
shelter. Ende is still in the hands of the Portuguese, who 
have a town and good harbour called Larntuca on the north- 
east corner of it : the old harbour of Ende, situated on the 
south side of it, is not nearly so good, and therefore now 
entirely neglected. 

The inhabitants of each of these different islands speak 
different languages, and the chief policy of the Dutch 
is to prevent them from learning each other's language, 
as by this means the Dutch keep them to their respective 

1 The real name is Semau. (Note by Banks.) 


islands, preventing them from entering into traffic with each 
other, or learning from mutual intercourse to plant such 
things as would be of greater value to themselves than their 
present produce, though less beneficial to the Dutch East 
India Company. The Dutch at the same time secure to 
themselves the benefit of supplying all their necessities at 
their own rates, no doubt not very moderate. This may 
possibly sufficiently account for the expense they must have 
been at in printing prayer-books, catechisms, etc., and teach- 
ing them to each island in its own language rather than in 
Dutch, which in all probability they might have as easily 
done, but at the risk of Dutch becoming the common 
language of the islands, and consequently of the natives by 
its means gaining an intercourse with each other. 


SEPT. 21 DEC. 24, 1770 

Leave Savu Arrive off Java European and American news Formalities 
required by Dutch authorities Mille Islands Batavia road Land at 
Batavia Prices and food at the hotel Tupia's impressions of Batavia 
Introduction to the Governor Malarious climate Bougainville's 
visit to Batavia Orders given to heave down the ship Illness of Tupia, 
Dr. Banks, Dr. Solander, etc. Death of Mr. Monkhouse, Tayeto, and 
Tupia Remove to a country-house Malay women as nurses Critical 
state of Dr. Solander Ship repaired Captain Cook taken ill Heavy 
rains Frogs and mosquitos Return to the ship. 

21st. Notwithstanding that our friend Mr. Lange invited us 
very kindly last night to come ashore again in the morning, 
and that we saw divers jars of syrup, a sheep, etc., waiting 
for us upon the beach, a sure sign that the Eadja's pro- 
hibition was not intended to prejudice trade in the least, we, 
who had now got plenty of all the refreshments which the isle 
afforded, thought it most prudent to weigh and sail directly 
for Batavia ; all our fears of westerly winds being dissipated 
by Mr. Lange assuring us that the easterly monsoon would 
prevail for two months longer. Accordingly we did so, 
and soon passed by the small island lying to the west 
about a league from Savu ; its name I have unluckily 
forgotten (Pulo Samiri, or something like it, maybe). One 
of the buffaloes which was killed weighed only 166 Ibs., which 
was a great drawback on our expectations, as we had thought 
that even that, though much the smallest of our stock, would 
not weigh less than 300 Ibs. 

1st October. About midnight land was seen, which in the 


morning proved to be Java Head and Prince's Island. At 
night we had passed Cracatoa. 

2nd. We espied two large ships lying at anchor behind 
Anger Point ; we came to an anchor, and sent a boat on 
board the ships for news. They were Dutch East India- 
men ; one bound for Cochin and the coast of Coromandel ; 
the other for Ceylon. Their captains received our officer 
very politely, and told him some European news ; as, 
that the government in England were in the utmost dis- 
order, the people crying up and down the streets " Down 
with King George, King Wilkes for ever," that the Americans 
had refused to pay taxes of any kind, the consequence of 
which being that a large force had been sent there, both of 
sea and land forces ; that the party of Polanders, who had 
been forced into the late election by the Eussians inter- 
fering, had asked assistance of the Grand Signior, who had 
granted it, in consequence of which the Eussians had sent 
twenty sail of the line, and a large army by land to besiege 
Constantinople, etc. etc. etc. With regard to our present 
circumstances, they told us that our passage to Batavia 
was likely to be very tedious, as we should have a strong 
current constantly against us, and at this time of the year 
calms and light breezes were the only weather we had to 
expect. They said also that near where they lay was a 
Dutch packet boat, whose business it was to go on board all 
ships coming through the straits to inquire of them their 
news, and carry or send their letters to Batavia with the 
utmost despatch, which business they said her skipper was 
obliged to do even for foreigners, if they desired it. This 
skipper, if we wanted refreshments, would furnish us with 
fowls, turtle, etc., at a very cheap rate. 

3rd. The Dutch packet of which we had been told yester- 
day, and which proved to be a sloop of no inconsiderable size, 
had been standing after us all the morning, and still continued 
to do so, gaining however but little, till a foul wind sprang 
up, on which she bore away. At night an Indian proa 
came on board, bringing the master of the sloop. He 
brought with him two books, in one of which he desired 


that any of our officers would write down the name of the 
ship, commander's name, where we came from, and where 
bound, with any particulars we chose relating to ourselves, 
for the information of any of our friends who might come 
after us, as we saw that some ships, especially Portuguese, 
had done. This book, he told us, was kept merely for the 
information of those who might come through these straits. 
In the other, which was a fair book, he entered the names 
of the ships and commanders, which only were sent to the 
Governor and Council of the Indies. On our writing 
down Europe as the place we had come from, he said : 
"Very well, anything you please, but this is merely for 
the information of your friends." In the proa were 
some small turtle, many fowls and ducks, also parrots, 
parroquets, rice-birds and monkeys, some few of which we 
bought, paying a dollar for a small turtle, and the same, at 
first for ten, afterwards for fifteen large fowls, two monkeys, 
or a whole cage of paddy-birds. 

4:th. Calm with light breezes, not sufficient to stem the 
current, which was very strong. To make our situation as 
tantalising as possible, innumerable proas were sailing about 
us in all directions. A boat was sent ashore for grass, and 
landed at an Indian town, where by hard bargaining 
some cocoanuts were bought at about three halfpence 
apiece, and rice in the straw at about five farthings a gallon. 
Neither here, nor in any other place where we have had 
connections with them, would they take any money but 
Spanish dollars. Large quantities of that floating substance 
which I have mentioned before under the name of sea- 
sawdust, had been seen ever since we came into the straits, 
and particularly to-day. Among it were many leaves, fruits, 
old stalks of plantain trees, plants of Pistia stratiotes, and 
such like trash, from whence we almost concluded that it 
came out of some river. 

5th. Early in the morning a proa came on board, bring- 
ing a Dutchman, who said that his post was much like 
that of the man who was on board on the 3rd. He 
presented a printed paper, of which he had copies in 


English, French, and Dutch, regularly signed in the name 
of the Governor. These he desired we would give written 
answers to, which he told us would be sent express to 
Batavia, where they would arrive to-morrow at noon. He 
had in the boat turtle and eggs, of which latter he sold a 
few for somewhat less than a penny apiece, and then went 

The day was spent as usual in getting up and letting 
down the anchor. At night, however, we were very near 
Bantam Point. 

8th. At eight Dr. Solander and I went ashore on a 
small islet belonging to the Mille Isles, not laid down in 
the draught, lying five miles N". by E. from Pulo Bedroe. 
The whole was not above 500 yards long, and 100 broad, 
yet on it was a house and a small plantation, in which, 
however, at this time was no plant from whence any profit 
could be derived, except Eicinus palma Cfiristi, of which 
castor -oil is made in the "West Indies, Upon the shoal, 
about a quarter of a mile from the island, were two people 
in a canoe, who seemed to hide themselves as if afraid of 
us ; we supposed them to be the inhabitants of our island. 
We found very few species of plants, but shot a bat, whose 
wings measured three feet when stretched out (Vesp. vam- 
pyrus), and four plovers exactly like our English golden 
plover (Charadrius pluvialis). With these and the few 
plants we returned, and very soon after a small Indian 
boat came alongside, having in her three turtles, some dried 
fish, and pumpkins. We bought his turtles, which weighed 
altogether 146 Ibs., for a dollar, with which bargain he 
seemed well pleased, but could scarce be prevailed upon to 
take any other coin for his pumpkins, after desiring that we 
would cut a dollar and give him a part. At last, however, 
a petack, shining and well -coined, tempted him to part 
with his stock, which consisted of twenty-six. He told us 
that the island, called in most draughts Pulo Bali, was 
really called Pulo Sounda, and that called Pulo Bedroe, Pulo 
Payon. At parting he made signs that we should not tell 
at Batavia that any boat had been on board us. 

366 BATAVIA CHAP, xvi 

9th. Before four we were at anchor in Batavia road. A 
boat came immediately on board us from a ship which had 
a broad pendant flying ; the officer on board inquired who 
we were, etc., and immediately returned. Both he and his 
people were pale almost as spectres, no good omen of the 
healthiness of the country we had arrived at. Our people, 
however, who might truly be called rosy and plump (for we 
had not a sick man among us), jeered and flaunted much at 
their brother seamen's white faces. By this time our boat 
was ready and went ashore with the first lieutenant, who 
had orders to acquaint the commanding officer ashore of our 
arrival. At night he returned, having met with a very civil 
reception from the She/bandar, who, -though no military 
officer, took cognizance of all these things. I forgot to men- 
tion before that we found here the Harcourt Indiaman, Captain 
Paul, and two English private traders from the coast of 

~LOth. After breakfast this morning we all went ashore 
in the pinnace, and immediately went to the house of Mr. 
Leith, the only Englishman of any credit in Batavia. We 
found him a very young man, under twenty, who had lately 
arrived here, and succeeded his uncle, a Mr. Burnet, in 
his business, which was pretty considerable, more so, we 
were told, than our new-comer had either money or credit to 
manage. He soon gave us to understand that he could be 
of very little service to us either in introducing us, as the 
Dutch people, he said, were not fond of him, or in money 
affairs, as he had begun trade too lately to have any more 
than what was employed in getting more. He, however, 
after having kept us to dine with him, offered us his assist- 
ance in showing us the method of living in Batavia, and in 
helping us to settle in such a manner as we should think 
fit. We had two alternatives. We could go to the hotel, a 
kind of inn kept by order of the Government, where it seems 
all merchant strangers are obliged to reside, paying J per 
cent for warehouse room for their goods, which the master of 
the house is obliged to find for them. We, however, having 
come in a king's ship, were free from that obligation, and 

OCT. 1770 LAND AT BAT AVI A 367 

might live wherever we pleased. After having asked leave 
of the Council, which was never refused, we might therefore, 
if we chose it, take a house in any part of the town, and 
bringing our own servants ashore, might keep it, which 
would be much cheaper than living at the hotel, provided 
we had anybody on whom we could depend to buy our 
provisions. As this was not the case, having none with us 
who understood the Malay language, we concluded that the 
hotel would be the best for us, certainly the least trouble- 
some, and maybe not much the most expensive ; accordingly, 
we went there, bespoke beds, and slept there at night. 

The next day we agreed with the keeper of the house, 
whose name was Yan Keys, as to the rates we should pay 
for living, as follows (for this he agreed, as we were five of 
us, who would probably have many visitors from the ship, 
to keep us a separate table). For ourselves we were to pay 
two rix-dollars a day each ; and for each stranger we were 
to pay one rix- dollar (4s.) for dinner, and another for 
supper and bed if he stayed ashore. We were to have also 
for ourselves and friends, tea, coffee, punch, pipes and 
tobacco, as much as we could consume ; in short, everything 
the house afforded, except wine and beer, which we were to 
pay for at the following rates : 

s. d. 

Claret .... 39 stivers 3 3 

Hock .... 1 rixf. 4 

Lisbon .... 39 stivers 3 3 

Sweet wine . . . 39 , , 33 

Madeira .... 1 rupee 2 6 

Beer .... 1 26 

Spa water . . . . 1 rixF. 40 

Besides this we were to pay for our servants |- a rupee 
(Is. 3d.) a day each. 

For these rates, which we soon found 1 to be more than 
double the common charges of boarding and lodging in the 
town, we were furnished with a table which under the 
appearance of magnificence was wretchedly covered ; indeed, 

1 The Journal at Batavia, until the 21st at least, was evidently not written 
up day by day. 




our dinners and suppers consisted of one course each, the 
one of fifteen, the other of thirteen dishes, of which, when 
you came to examine them, seldom less than nine or ten 
were of bad poultry, roasted, boiled, fried, stewed, etc. etc. 
So little conscience had they in serving up dishes over and 
over again, that I have seen the same identical duck appear 
upon the table three times as roasted duck, before he found 
his way into the fricassee, from whence he was again to pass 
into forcemeat. 

This treatment, however, was not without remedy ; we 
found that it was the constant custom of the house to supply 
strangers at their first arrival with every article as bad as 
possible ; if through good nature or indolence they put up 
with it, it was so much the better for the house, if not 
it was easy to mend their treatment by degrees, till they 
were satisfied. On this discovery we made frequent remon- 
strances, and mended our fare considerably, so much so that 
had we had any one among us who understood this kind of 
wrangling, I am convinced we might have lived as well as 
we could have desired. 

Being now a little settled, I hired a small house next 
door to the hotel, for which I payed 10 rix. r . (2) a month. 
Here our books, etc., were lodged, but here we were far from 
private, almost every Dutchman that came by running in 
and asking what we had to sell ; for it seems that hardly 
any individual had ever been at Batavia before who had not 
something or other to sell. I also hired two carriages, which 
are a kind of open chaise made to hold two people and 
driven by a man on a coach-box. For each of these I paid 
2 rix. r . (8s.) a day, by the month. We sent for Tupia, who 
had till now remained on board on account of his illness, 
which was of the bilious kind, and for which he had all 
along refused to take any medicine. On his arrival, his 
spirits, which had long been very low, were instantly raised 
by the sights which he saw, and his boy Tayeto, who had 
always been perfectly well, was almost ready to run mad ; 
houses, carriages, streets, and everything, were to him sights 
which he had often heard described but never well under- 


stood, so he looked upon them with more than wonder, 
almost mad with the numberless novelties which diverted 
his attention from one to the other. He danced about the 
streets examining everything to the best of his abilities. 
One of Tupia's first observations was the various dresses 
which he saw worn by different people ; on his being told 
that in this place every different nation wore their own 
country dress, he desired to have his, on which South Sea 
cloth was sent for on board, and he clothed himself accord- 
ing to his taste. We were now able to get food for him 
similar to that of his own country, and he grew visibly 
better every day, so that I doubted not in the least of his 
perfect recovery, as our stay at this place was not likely to 
be very short. 

Ever since our arrival at this place, Dr. Solander and I 
had applied to be introduced to the General, or Governor, 
on one of his Public or Council days ; we had been put off 
by various foolish excuses, and at last were told plainly that 
as we could have no business with him, we could have no 
reason to desire that favour. This did not satisfy us, so I 
went myself to the Shdbandar, who is also master of the 
ceremonies, in order to ask his reasons for refusing so trifling 
a request, but was surprised at being very politely received, 
and told that the very next day he would attend us, which 
he did, and we were introduced, and had the honour of con- 
versing for a few minutes with his high mightiness, who was 
very police to us. 

Ever since our first arrival here we had been universally 
told of the extreme unwholesomeness of the place, which 
we, they said, should severely feel on account of the fresh- 
ness and healthiness of our countenances. This threat, 
however, we did not much regard, thinking ourselves too 
well seasoned to variety of climates to fear any, and trusting- 
more than all to an invariable temperance in everything, 
which we had as yet unalterably kept during our whole 
residence in the warm latitudes. Before the end of the 
month, however, we were made sensible of our mistake. 
Poor Tupia's broken constitution felt it first, and he grew 

2 B 

370 BAT AVI A CHAP, xvi 

worse and worse every day. Then Tayeto, his boy, was 
attacked by a cold and inflammation in his lungs ; then my 
servants, Peter and James, and I myself had intermittent 
fevers, and Dr. Solander a constant nervous one. In short, 
every one on shore, and many on board, were ill, chiefly of 
intermittents, occasioned no doubt by the lowness of the 
country, and the numberless dirty canals, which intersect 
the town in all directions. 

Some days before this, as I was walking the streets with 
Tupia, a man totally unknown to me ran out of his house, 
and eagerly accosting me, asked if the Indian whom he saw 
with me had not been at Batavia before. On my declaring 
that he had not, and asking the reason of so odd a question, 
he told me that a year and a half before, Mr. De Bougain- 
ville had been at Batavia with two French ships, and that 
with him was an Indian so like this that he had imagined 
him to be the identical same person, until I informed 
him of the contrary. On this I inquired, and found that 
Mr. De Bougainville was sent out by the French to the 
Malouine or Falkland Isles (in order, as they said here, to 
sell them to the Spaniards), had gone from thence to the 
River Plate, and afterwards having passed into the South Seas, 
maybe to other Spanish parts, where he and all his people 
had got an immense deal of money in new Spanish dollars, 
came here across the South Seas, in which passage he dis- 
covered divers lands unknown before, and from one of them 
he brought the Indian in question. 

This at once cleared up the account given us by the 
Otahite Indians of the two ships which had been there 
ten months before us (p. 9 6 of this journal) ; these were un- 
doubtedly the ships of Mr. De Bougainville, and the Indian 
was Otourrou, the brother of Eette, chief of Hidea. Even 
the story of the woman was known here ; she, it seems, was 
a Frenchwoman, who followed a young man sent out in the 
character of botanist, in men's clothes. 1 As for the article 
of the colours, the Indians might easily be mistaken, or Mr. 
De Bougainville, if he had traded in the South Seas under 

1 See note on Bougainville, p. xliii. 


Spanish colours, might choose to go quite across with them. 
The iron, which most misled us, had undoubtedly been bought 
in Spanish America. Besides the botanist mentioned above, 
these ships were furnished with one or more draughtsmen, so 
that they have probably done some of our work for us. 

21st. After petitioning and repetitioning the Council of 
the Indies, our affairs were at last settled, and orders given 
to heave down the ship with all expedition; so she this 
day went down to Kuyper, called by the English Cooper's 
Island, where a warehouse was allotted for her to lay up her 
stores, etc. 

We now began sensibly to feel the ill effects of the 
unwholesome climate we were in. Our appetites and spirits 
were gone, but none were yet really sick except poor Tupia 
and Tayeto, both of whom grew worse and worse daily, so 
that I began once more to despair of poor Tupia's life. At 
last he desired to be moved to the ship, where, he said, he 
should breathe a freer air clear of the numerous houses, 
which he believed to be the cause of his disease, by stopping 
the free draught. Accordingly on the 28th I went down 
with him to Kuyper, and on his liking the shore had a tent 
pitched for him in a place he chose, where both sea and 
land breezes blew right over him, a situation in which he 
expressed great satisfaction. 

The seamen now fell ill fast, so that the tents ashore 
were always full of sick. After a stay of two days I left 
Tupia well satisfied in mind, but not at all better in body, 
and returned to town, where I was immediately seized with 
a tertian, the fits of which were so violent as to deprive me 
entirely of my senses, and leave me so weak as scarcely to 
be able to crawl downstairs. My servants, Peter and James, 
were as bad as myself, and Dr Solander now felt the first 
attacks of the fever, but never having been in his lifetime 
once ill, resisted it, resolved not to apply to a physician. 
But the worst of all was Mr. Monkhouse, the ship's surgeon ; 
he was now confined to his bed by a violent fever, which 
grew worse and worse notwithstanding all the efforts of the 




4:th November. At last, after many delays caused by 
Dutch ships which came alongside the wharfs to load 
pepper, the Endeavour was this day got down to Onrust, 
where she was to be hove down without delay, most welcome 
news to us all, now heartily tired of this unwholesome 

Poor Mr. Monkhouse became worse and worse without 
the intervention of one favourable symptom, so that we now 
had little hopes of his life. 

6th. In the afternoon of this day poor Mr. Monkhouse 
departed, the first sacrifice to the climate, and the next day 
was buried. Dr. Solander attended his funeral, and I should 
certainly have done the same, had I not been confined to my 
bed by my fever. Our case now became melancholy, neither 
of my servants were able to help me, no more than I was 
them, and the Malay slaves, whom alone we depended on, 
naturally the worst attendants in nature, were rendered less 
careful by our incapacity to scold them on account of our 
ignorance of the language. When we became so sick that 
we could not help ourselves, they would get out of call, so 
that we were obliged to remain still until able to get up 
and go in search of them. 

9th. This day we received the disagreeable news of the 
death of Tayeto, and that his death had so much affected 
Tupia, that there were little hopes of his surviving him 
many days. 

1 Oth. Dr. Solander and I still grew worse and worse, 
and the physician who attended us declared that the country 
air was necessary for our recovery ; so we began to look out 
for a country house, though with a heavy heart, as we knew 
that we must there commit ourselves entirely to the care of 
the Malays, whose behaviour to sick people we had all the 
reason in the world to find fault with. For this reason we 
resolved to buy each of us a Malay woman to nurse us, 
hoping that the tenderness of the sex would prevail even 
here, which indeed we found it to do, for they turned out 
by no means bad nurses. 

llth. We received the news of Tupia's death; I had 


quite given him over ever since the death of his boy, whom 
I well knew he sincerely loved, though he used to find much 
fault with him during his lifetime. 

1 2th. Dr. Solander, who had not yet entirely taken to 
his bed, returned from an airing this evening extremely ill. 
He went to bed immediately. I sat by him, and soon 
observed symptoms which alarmed me very much. I sent 
immediately for our physician, Dr. Jaggi, who applied 
sinapisms to his feet, and blisters to the calves of his legs, 
but at the same time gave me little or no hopes of even the 
possibility of his living till morning. Weak as I was I sat 
by him till morning, when he changed very visibly for the 
better. I then slept a little, and on waking found him still 
better than I had any reason to hope. 

1 3th. As Dr. Jaggi had all along insisted on the country 
air being necessary for our recovery, I at once agreed 
with my landlord, Van Keys, for his country house, which 
he immediately furnished for us ; agreeing to supply us 
with provisions, and give us the use of five slaves who were 
there, as well as three we were to take with us, for a dollar 
a day (4s.), more than our common agreement. This country 
house, though small and very bad, was situated about two 
miles out of the town, in a situation that prepossessed me 
much in its favour, being upon the banks of a briskly running 
river, and well open to the sea breeze, two circumstances 
which must much contribute to promote circulation of the 
air, a thing of the utmost consequence in a country 
perfectly resembling the low part of my native Lincolnshire. 
Accordingly, Dr. Solander being much better, and in the 
doctor's opinion not too bad to be removed, we carried 
him to it this day, and also received from the ship Mr. 
Sporing (our writer), a seaman, and the captain's own 
servant, whom he had sent on hearing of our melancholy 
situation, so that we were now sufficiently well attended, 
having ten Malays and two whites, besides Mr. Sporing. 
This night, however, Dr. Solander was extremely ill, so much 
so that fresh blisters were applied to the inside of his thighs, 
which he seemed not at all sensible of; nevertheless in the 

374 BATAVIA CHAP, xvi 

morning he was something better, and from that time re- 
covered, though by extremely slow degrees, till his second 
attack. I myself, either by the influence of the bark of 
which I had all along taken quantities, or by the anxiety I 
suffered on Dr. Solander's account, missed my fever, nor 
did it return for several days, until he became better. 

I4:th. We had the agreeable news of the repairs of the 
ship being completely finished, and that she had returned 
to Cooper's Island, where she proved to be no longer leaky. 
When examined she had proved much worse than anybody 
expected ; her main plank being in many places so cut by 
the rocks that not more than one-eighth of an inch in 
thickness remained ; and here the worm had got in and 
made terrible havoc. Her false keel was entirely gone, and 
her main keel much wounded. The damages were now, 
however, entirely repaired, and very well too in the opinion 
of everybody who saw the Dutch artificers do their work. 

Dr. Solander grew better, though by very slow degrees. 
I soon had a return of my ague, which now became quotidian ; 
the captain also was taken ill on board, and of course we 
sent his servant to him. Soon after both Mr. Sporing and 
our seaman were seized with intermittents, so that we were 
again reduced to the melancholy necessity of depending 
entirely upon the Malays for nursing us, all of whom were 
often sick together. 

24:th. We had for some nights now had the wind on the 
western board, generally attended with some rain, thunder 
and lightning; this night it blew strong at S.W. and rained 
harder than ever I saw it before for three or four hours. 
Our house rained in every part, and through the lower part 
of it ran a stream almost capable of turning a mill. In the 
morning I went to Batavia, where the quantities of bedding 
that I everywhere saw hung up to dry, made a very 
uncommon sight, for I was told almost every house in 
the town and neighbourhood suffered more or less. This 
was certainly the shifting of the monsoon ; for the winds, 
which had before been constantly to the eastward, remained 
constantly on the western board. The people here, however, 


told us that it did not commonly shift so suddenly, and 
were loth to believe that the westerly winds were really set 
in for several days after. 

Dr. Solander had recovered enough to be able to walk 
about the house, but gathered strength very slowly. I 
myself was given to understand that curing my ague was of 
very little consequence while the cause remained in the 
badness of the air. The physician, however, bled me, and 
gave me frequent gentle purges, which he told me would 
make the attacks less violent, as was really the case. They 
came generally about two or three in the afternoon, a time 
when everybody in these climates is always asleep, and by 
four or five I had generally recovered sufficiently to get up 
and walk in the garden. The rainy season had now set in, 
and we had generally some rain in the night ; the days were 
more or less cloudy, and sometimes wet ; this, however, was 
not always the case, for we once had a whole week of very 
clear weather. 

The frogs in the ditches, whose voices were ten times 
louder than those of European ones, made a noise almost in- 
tolerable on nights when rain was to be expected ; and the 
mosquitos or gnats, who had been sufficiently troublesome 
even in the dry time, were now breeding in every splash of 
water, and became innumerable, especially in the moonlight 
nights. Their stings, however, though painful and trouble- 
some enough at the time, never continued to itch above half 
an hour ; so that no man in the daytime was troubled with 
the bites of the night before. Indeed, I never met with any 
whose bites caused swellings remaining twenty-four hours, 
except the midges or gnats of Lincolnshire (which are 
identically the same insect as is called mosquito in most 
parts of the world) and the sand flies of North America. 1 

1st December. About this time Dr. Solander had a return 
of his fever, which increased gradually for four or five days, 
when he became once more in imminent danger. 

*7th. We received the agreeable news of the ship's arrival 
in the road, having completed all her rigging, etc., and having 
1 Alluding to his experience in Newfoundland in 1766. 

376 BATAVIA CHAP, xvi 

now nothing to take in but provisions and a little water. 
The people on board, however, were extremely sickly, and 
several had died, a circumstance necessarily productive of 
delays ; indeed, had they been strong and healthy we should 
have been before now at sea. 

Dr. Solander had changed much for the better within 
these two last days, so that our fears of losing him were 
entirely dissipated, for which much praise is due to his in- 
genious physician, Dr. Jaggi, who at this juncture especially 
was indefatigable. 

16^. Our departure being now very soon to take place, 
I thought it would be very convenient to cure the ague, 
which had now been my constant companion for many 
weeks. Accordingly I took decoction of bark plentifully, 
and in three or four days missed it. I then went to town, 
settled all my affairs, and remained impatient to have the 
day fixed. 

24ith. The 25th, Christmas Day by our account, being 
fixed for sailing, we this morning hired a large country proa, 
which came up to the door and took in Dr. Solander, now 
tolerably recovered, and carried him on board the ship, where 
in the evening we all joined him. 



Situation Number of houses Streets Canals Houses Public buildings- 
Fortifications Castle Forts within the city Soldiers Harbour 
Islands and uses to which they are put Dutch fleet Country round 
Batavia Thunderstorms Marshes 'Unheal thin ess of the climate 
Fruitfulness of the soil Cattle, sheep, etc. "Wild animals Fish Birds 
Rice Mountain rice Vegetables Fruits : detailed description, 
supply and consumption Palm -wine Odoriferous flowers Spices 
Population and nationalities Trade Cheating Portuguese Slaves 
Punishment of slaves Javans Habits and customs Native attention to 
the hair and teeth Running amoc Native superstitions Crocodiles as 
twin brothers to men Chinese: their habits, mode of living and 
burial Government Officials Justice Taxation Money. 

BATAVIA, the capital of the Dutch dominions in India, and 
generally esteemed to be by much the finest town in the 
possession of Europeans in these parts, is situated in a low 
fenny plain, where several small rivers, which take their 
rise in mountains called Blaen Berg, about forty miles inland, 
empty themselves into the sea. The Dutch (always true to 
their commercial interests) seemed to have pitched upon this 
situation entirely for the convenience of water-carriage, which 
indeed few. if any, towns in Europe enjoy in a higher degree. 
Few streets in the town are without canals of considerable 
breadth, running through or rather stagnating in them. 
These canals are continued for several miles round the town, 
and with five or six rivers, some of which are navigable 
thirty or forty or more miles inland, make the carriage of 
every species of produce inconceivably cheap. 

It is very difficult to judge of the size of the town : the 
size of the houses, in general large, and the breadth of the 


streets increased by their canals, make it impossible to com- 
pare it with any English town. All I can say is that when 
seen from the top of a building, from whence the eye takes it 
in at one view, it does not look nearly so large as it seems 
to be when you walk about it. Valentijn, who wrote about 
and before the year 1726, says that in his time there were 
within the walls 1242 Dutch houses, and 1200 Chinese; 
without, 1066 Dutch and 1240 Chinese, besides twelve 
arrack houses. This number, however, appeared to me to be 
very highly exaggerated, those within the walls especially. 
But of all this I confess myself a very indifferent judge, hav- 
ing enjoyed so little health, especially towards the latter part 
of my stay, that I had no proper opportunity of satisfying 
myself in such particulars. 

The streets are broad and handsome, and the banks of 
the canals in general planted with rows of trees. A stranger 
on his first arrival is very much struck with these, and often 
led to observe how much the heat of the climate must be 
tempered by the shade of the trees and coolness of the water. 
Indeed, as to the first, it must be convenient to those who 
walk on foot; but a very short residence will show him 
that the inconveniences of the canals far over-balance any 
convenience he can derive from them in any but a mercan- 
tile light. Instead of cooling the air, they contribute not a 
little to heat it, especially those which are stagnant, as most 
of them are, by reflecting back the fierce rays of the sun. In 
the dry season these stink most abominably, and in the wet 
many of them overflow their banks, filling the lower storeys 
of the houses near them with water. When they clean them, 
which is very often, as some are not more than three or four 
feet deep, the black mud taken out is suffered to lie upon the 
banks, that is, in the middle of the street, till it has acquired 
a sufficient hardness to be conveniently laden into boats. 
This mud stinks intolerably. Add to this that the running 
water, which is in some measure free from the former incon- 
veniences, has every now and then a dead horse or hog 
stranded in the shallow parts, a nuisance which I was in- 
formed no particular person was appointed to remove. I 


am inclined to believe this, as I remember a dead buffalo 
lying in one of the principal thoroughfares for more than a 
week, until it was at last carried away by a flood. 

The houses are in general large and well built, and con- 
veniently enough contrived for the climate. The greater part 
of the ground-floor is always laid out in one large room with 
a door to the street and another to the yard, both which 
generally stand open. Below is the ground -plan of one. 

In this plan a is the front door, 6, the back door, c, a room 
where the master of the house does his business, d, a court 
to give light to the rooms as well as increase the draught, 
and e, the stairs for going upstairs, where the rooms are 
generally large though few in number. Such, in general, 
are their town houses, differing in size very much, and some- 
times in shape ; the principles, however, on which they are 
built are universally the same, two doors opposite each other, 
and one or more courts between them to cause a draught, 
which they do in an eminent degree, as well as dividing the 
room into alcoves, in one of which the family dine, while 
the female slaves (who on no occasion sit anywhere else) 
work in another. Showy, however, as these large rooms are 
to the stranger on his first seeing them, he is soon sensible 
of the small amount of furniture which is universal in all 
of them. The same quantity of furniture is sufficient for 
them as is necessary for our smaller rooms in Europe, as in 
those we entertain fully as many guests at a time as is ever 
done in these ; consequently the chairs, which are spread at 
even distances from each other, are not very easily collected 
into a circle if four or five visitors arrive at once. 

Public buildings they have several, most of them old and 
executed in rather a clumsy taste. Their new church, how- 


ever, built with a dome (which is seen very far out at sea), 
is certainly far from an ugly building on the outside, though 
rather heavy, and in the inside is a very fine room. Its 
organ is well proportioned, being large enough to fill it, 
and it is so well supplied with chandeliers that few churches 
in Europe are as well lighted. 

From buildings I should make an easy transition to forti- 
fications, were it not a subject of which I must confess 
myself truly ignorant. I shall attempt, however, to describe 
what I have seen in general terms. The city of Batavia is 
enclosed by a stone wall of moderate height, old, and in 
many parts not in the best repair; besides this, a river in 
different places from fifty to one hundred paces broad, whose 
stream is rather brisk but shallow, encircles it without the 
walls, and within again is a canal of very variable breadth, 
so that in passing their gates you cross two draw-bridges. 
This canal, useless as it seems, has, however, this merit, that 
it prevents all walking on the ramparts, as is usual in fortified 
towns, and consequently all idle examination of the number 
or condition of the guns. With these they seem to be very 
ill provided, all that are seen being of very light metal ; and 
the west side of the town, where alone you have an oppor- 
tunity of examining them, being almost totally unprovided. 

In the north-east corner of the town stands the castle or 
citadel, the walls of which are higher and larger than those 
of the town, especially near the boats' landing-place, which 
it completely commands, and where are mounted several very 
large and well-looking guns. The neighbourhood, however, 
of the north-east corner seems sufficiently weak on both 
sides, especially on the east. 

Within this Castle, as it is called, are apartments for the 
Governor-General and all the members of the Council of India, 
to which they are enjoined to repair in case of a siege ; here 
are also large storehouses, where are kept great quantities of 
the Company's goods, especially European goods, and where 
all their writers, etc., do their business. Here are also stored 
a large quantity of cannon, but whether to mount on the 
walls or furnish their shipping in case of the approach of an 


enemy, I could not learn; from their appearance I should 
judge them to be intended for the latter. As for powder, 
they are said to be well supplied with it, dispersed in various 
magazines on account of the frequency of lightning. 

Besides the fortifications of the town, there are numerous 
forts up and down the country, some between twenty and 
thirty miles from the town. Most of these seem very poor 
defences, and are probably intended to do little more than 
keep the natives in awe. They have also a kind of house 
mounting about eight guns apiece, which seem to me to be the 
best defences against Indians I have ever seen. They are 
generally placed in such situations as will cominand three 
or four canals, and as many roads upon their banks. Some 
there are in the town itself, and one of these it was which, 
in the time of the Chinese rebellion (as the Dutch call it), 
quickly levelled all the best Chinese houses to the ground. 
Indeed, I was told that the natives are more afraid of these 
than of any other kind of defences. There are many of 
them in all parts of Java, and on the other islands in the 
possession of the Dutch. I lamented much not being able 
to get a drawing and plan of one, which, indeed, had I been 
well, I might easily have done, as I suppose they never 
could be jealous of a defence which one gun would destroy 
in half an hour. 

Even if the Dutch fortifications are as weak and defence- 
less as I suppose, they have, nevertheless, some advantages 
in their situation among morasses, where the roads, which 
are almost always a bank thrown up between a canal and a 
ditch, might easily be destroyed. This would very much 
delay the bringing up of heavy artillery, unless this could 
be shipped upon some canal, and a sufficient number of 
proper boats secured to transport it. There are plenty of 
these, but they all muster every night under the guns 
of the Castle, from whence it would be impossible to take 
them. Delays, however, from whatever cause they might 
happen, would be inevitably fatal. In less than a week 
we were sensible of the unhealthiness of the climate, and 
in a month's time one half of the ship's company were 


unable to perform their duty ; but could a very small body 
of men get quickly to the walls of Batavia, bringing with them 
a few battering cannon, the town must inevitably yield on 
account of the weakness of its defence. 

We were told that of a hundred soldiers, who arrive here 
from Europe, it is a rare thing for fifty to outlive the first 
year ; and that of those fifty half will by that time be in the 
hospitals, and of the other half not ten in perfect health. 
Whether this account may not be exaggerated I cannot say, 
but will venture to affirm that it seemed to me probable 
from the number of pale faces, and limbs hardly able to 
support a musket, which I saw among the few soldiers to 
be seen upon duty. The white inhabitants indeed are all 
soldiers, and those who have served five years are liable to 
be called out on any occasion ; but as they are never 
exercised or made to do any kind of duty, it is impossible 
to expect much from men more versed in handling pens 
than guns. The Portuguese are generally good marksmen, 
as they employ themselves much in shooting wild hogs and 
deer ; as for the Mardykers, who are certainly numerous 
being Indians of all nations who are, or whose ancestors 
have been, freed slaves few, either of them or of the 
Chinese, know the use of firearms. Their numbers, however, 
might be troublesome, as some of them are esteemed brave 
with their own weapons, lances, swords, daggers, etc. 

Thus much for the land. By sea it is impossible to 
attack Batavia, on account of the shallowness of the water, 
which will scarcely suffer even a long-boat to come within 
cannon-shot of the walls, unless she keep a narrow channel 
walled in on both sides by strong piers, and running about 
half a mile into the harbour, which channel terminates 
exactly under the fire of the strongest part of the Castle. 
At this point there is a large wooden boom, which is shut 
every night at six o'clock, and not opened again till morn- 
ing under any pretence. It is said that before the earth- 
quake in [1699] ships of large burthen used to come up to 
this place, and be stopped by the boom, but at present only 
boats attempt it. 


The harbour of Batavia is generally accounted the finest 
in India ; and indeed it answers that character, being large 
enough to contain any number of ships, and having such 
good holding ground that no ships ever think of mooring, 
but ride with one anchor, which always holds as long as the 
cable. How it is sheltered is difficult to say, the islands 
without it not being by any means sufficient, but so it is 
that there is never any sea running at all troublesome to 
shipping. Its greatest inconvenience is the shoal water 
between the ships and the mouth of Batavia river, which, 
when the sea breeze has blown pretty freshly, as it often 
does, makes a cockling sea very dangerous to boats. Our 
long-boat, in attempting to come off, struck two or three 
times and with difficulty regained the river's mouth; the 
same evening a Dutch boat loaded with sails and rigging for 
one of their Indiamen was entirely lost. 

Eound the outside of the harbour are many small islands, 
some of which the Dutch make use of; as Edam, to which 
they transport all Europeans who have been guilty of 
crimes not worthy of death. Some of these are sentenced 
to remain there 99, others 40, 20, 5 years, etc., according 
to their deserts, during which time they work as slaves, 
making ropes, etc. etc. At Purmerent they have a hospital 
in which people are said to recover much more quickly 
than at Batavia. On Kuyper are warehouses in which are 
kept many things belonging to the Company, chiefly such 
as are of small value, as rice, etc. ; here also all foreign ships 
who are to be hove down at Onrust discharge their cargoes 
at wharves very convenient for the purpose. Here the 
guns, sails, etc., of the " Falmouth," a gun-ship which was 
condemned here on her return from Manilla, were kept, and 
she herself remained in the harbour with only two warrant 
officers on board, who had remittances most regularly from 
home, but no notice ever taken of the many memorials 
they sent, desiring to be recalled. The Dutch, however, for 
reasons best known to themselves, thought fit about six 
months before our arrival to sell her and all her stores by 
public auction, and send her officers home in their ships. 


The next island, which is indeed of more consequence 
to the Dutch than all the rest, is Onrust ; here they heave 
down and repair all their shipping, and consequently keep a 
large quantity of naval stores. On this island are artificers 
of almost all kinds employed in the shipbuilding way, and 
very clever ones, so at least all our most experienced seamen 
allowed, who said they had seen ships hove down in most 
parts of the world, but never saw that business so cleverly 
done as here. The Dutch do not seem to think this island 
of so much consequence as they perhaps would do if all 
their naval stores were here (the greater part are at Batavia) ; 
it seems to be so ill defended, that one 60 -gun ship would 
blow it up without a possibility of failure, as she might go 
alongside the wharfs as near as she pleased. 

It is generally said in Europe that the Dutch keep a strong 
fleet in the East Indies, ready and able to cope with any Euro- 
pean Power which might attack them there. This is true thus 
far and no farther : their Indiamen, which are very large ships, 
are pierced for 5 or 6 guns each. Should they be attacked 
when all these were in India, or indeed a little before the 
sailing of the Europe fleet, they might, if they had sufficient 
warning to get in their guns, etc., raise 40 or 50 sail; but 
how it would be possible for them to man this fleet, if they 
kept anybody at all on shore, is to me a mystery. Again, 
should they be attacked after the fleet had sailed, they have 
very few ships, and those terribly out of condition ; for they 
keep no ships even in tolerable repair in India, except those 
employed to go to Ceylon and the coast, which places indeed 
are generally taken in the way to or from Europe. As for 
the eastern islands, no ships of any force are employed 
there ; but all the trade is carried on in small vessels, many 
of which are brigs and sloops. 

The country round about Batavia for some miles is one 
continued range of country houses and gardens, some of 
which are very large, and all universally planted with trees 
as close as they can stand by each other, so that the country 
enjoys little benefit from being cleared, the woods standing 
now nearly as thick as when they grew there originally, 


with only this difference, that they are now of useful, whereas 
they were formerly of useless trees. But, useful as these trees 
are to their respective owners, who enjoy their fruits, to the 
community they are certainly highly detrimental in prevent- 
ing the sea breeze from penetrating into the country as it 
ought ; or at best loading it with unwholesome vapours col- 
lected and stagnating under their branches. This, according 
to our modern theory, should be the reason why thunder 
and lightning are so frequent and mischievous here that 
scarcely a month passes in which either ships or houses do 
not feel the effects of it. While we stayed three accidents 
happened ; the first, a few days after our arrival, dismasted 
a large Dutch Indiaman which lay next to us, and wounded 
two or three of her people : nor were we exempt from the 
consequences of that flash, which, according to the belief of 
those on board, came down the lightning chain, and certainly 
struck down the sentry who stood near it. 

Besides these frugiferous forests, the country has all the 
appearance of unhealthiness imaginable. I may venture to 
call it for some miles round the town one universal flat, as 
I know few exceptions to it. This flat is intersected in 
many directions by rivers, in still more by canals navigable 
for small vessels ; but worst of all are the ditches, which, 
as in the marshes of Lincolnshire, are the universal fences 
of fields and gardens, hedges being almost totally absent. 
Nor are filthy, fenny bogs and morasses, fresh as well as 
salt, wanting even in the near neighbourhood of the town 
to add their baneful influence to the rest, and complete the 
unhealthiness of the country, which, much as I have said 
of it, I believe I have not exaggerated. The people them- 
selves speak of it in as strong terms as I do, while the pale 
faces and diseased bodies of those who are said to be inured 
to it, as well as the preventive medicines, etc., and the 
frequent attacks of disease they are subject to, abundantly 
testify to the truth of what they assert. The very church- 
yards show it by the number of graves constantly open in 
them, far disproportionate to the number of people. The 
inhabitants themselves talk of death with the same in- 

2 c 


difference as people in a camp ; it is hardly a piece of news 
to tell any one of the death of another, unless the dead 
man is of high rank, or somehow concerned in money 
matters with the other. If the death of any acquaintance 
is mentioned, it commonly produces some such reflexion as, 
" Well, it is very well he owed me nothing, or I should 
have had to get it from his executors." 

So much for the neighbourhood of Batavia and as far 
round it as I had an opportunity of going. I saw only two 
exceptions to this general description, one where the General's 
country house is situated. This is a gradually rising hill of 
tolerable extent, but so little raised above the common level 
that you would be hardly sensible of being upon it were it 
not that you have left the canals, and that the ditches are 
replaced by bad hedges. The Governor himself has, how- 
ever, strained a point so as to enclose his own garden with 
a ditch, to be in the fashion I suppose. The other exception 
is the place where a famous market called Passar Tandbank 
is held. Here, and here only during my whole stay, I had 
the satisfaction of mounting a hill of about ten yards 
perpendicular height, and tolerably steep. About forty miles 
inland, however, are some pretty high hills, where, as we 
were informed, the country is healthy in a high degree, and 
even at certain heights tolerably cool. There European 
vegetables flourish in great perfection, even strawberries, 
which bear heat very ill. The people who live there also 
have colour in their cheeks, a thing almost unknown at 
Batavia, where the milk-white faces of all the inhabitants 
are unstained by any colour ; especially the women, who 
never go into the sun, and are consequently free from the 
tan, and have certainly the whitest skins imaginable. From 
what cause it proceeds is difficult to say, but in general it 
is observed that they keep their health much better than 
the men, even if they have lately arrived from Europe. 

On these hills some of the principal people have country 
houses, which they visit once a year ; the General especially 
has one, said to be built upon the plan of Blenheim House, 
near Oxford, but never finished. Physicians also often send 


people here for the recovery of their health lost in the low 
country, and say that the effects of such a change of air is 
almost miraculous, working an instant change in favour of 
the patient, who during his stay there remains well, but no 
sooner returns to his necessary occupations at Batavia than 
his complaints return in just the same degree as before his 

Few parts of the world, I believe, are better furnished 
with the necessaries as well as the luxuries of life, than the 
island of Java. The unhealthiness of the country about 
Batavia is in that particular rather an advantage to it ; for 
the very cause of it, a low flat situation, is likewise the 
cause of a fruitfulness of soil hardly to be paralleled, which 
is sufficiently testified by the flourishing condition of the 
immense quantities of fruit-trees all round the town, as well 
as by the quantity and excellence of their crops of sugar- 
cane, rice, Indian corn, etc. etc. ID " <ed, the whole island is 
allowed to be uncommonly fruitful by those who have seen 
it, and in general as healthy as fruitful, excepting only such 
low fenny spots as the neighbourhood of Batavia, far fitter 
to sow rice upon than to build towns. 

The tame quadrupeds are horses, cattle, buffaloes, sheep, 
goats, and hogs. The horses are small, never exceeding in 
size what we call a stout Galloway, but nimble and spirited : 
they are said to have been found here when the Europeans 
first came round the Cape of Good Hope. The cattle are 
said to be the same as those in Europe, but differ from them 
in appearance so much that I am inclined to doubt. They 
have, however, the palearia, which naturalists make to be 
the distinguishing mark of our species. On the other hand, 
they are found wild, not only on Java, but on several of 
the eastern islands. The flesh of those that I ate at 
Batavia was rather finer -grained than European beef, but 
much drier, and always terribly lean. Buffaloes are very 
plentiful, but the Dutch are so much prejudiced against 
them, that they will not eat their flesh at all, nor even drink 
their milk, affirming that it causes fevers. The natives, 
however, and the Chinese do both, and have no such opinion 


concerning them. Their sheep, of that sort whose ears hang 
down and have hair instead of wool, are most intolerably bad, 
lean, and tough to the last degree. They have, however, a 
few Cape sheep, which are excellent, though intolerably dear. 
"We gave 2 : 5s. a piece for four, which we bought for sea 
stock, the heaviest of which weighed only 45 Ibs. Their 
goats are much of a par with their sheep, but their hogs 
are certainly excellent, especially the Chinese, which are so 
immensely fat that nobody thinks of buying the fat with 
the lean. The butcher, when you buy it, cuts off as much 
as you please, and sells it to his countrymen, the Chinese, 
who melt it down and eat it instead of butter with their 
rice. Notwithstanding the excellence of this pork, the 
Dutch are so prejudiced in favour of everything which 
comes from the Fatherland, that they will not eat it at all, 
but use entirely the Dutch breed, which are sold as much 
dearer than the Chinese here, as the Chinese are dearer than 
them in Europe. 

Besides these domestic animals, their woods afford some 
wild horses and cattle, but only in the distant mountains, 
and even there they are very scarce. Buffaloes are not 
found wild upon Java, though they are upon Macassar, 
and are numerous in several of the eastern islands. The 
neighbourhood of Batavia, however, is pretty plentifully 
supplied with deer of two kinds, and wild hogs, both which 
are very good meat, and often shot by the Portuguese, who 
sell them tolerably cheap. Monkeys also there are, though 
but few in the neighbourhood of Batavia. 

On the mountains and in the more desert part of the 
island are tigers, it is said, in too great abundance, and some 
rhinoceroses ; but neither of these animals are ever heard of 
in the neighbourhood of Batavia, or indeed any in well-peopled 
part of the island. 

Fish are in immense plenty ; many sorts of them very 
excellent and inconceivably cheap ; but the Dutch, true to 
the dictates of luxury, buy none but those which are scarce. 
We, who in the course of our long migration in the warm 
latitudes had learned the real excellence of many of the 


cheapest sorts, wondered much at seeing them the food of 
none but slaves. On inquiry, however, of a sensible house- 
keeper, he told us that he, as well as we, knew that for one 
shilling he could purchase a better dish of fish than he did 
for ten. " But," said he, " I dare not do it, for should it be 
known that I did so, I should be looked upon in the same 
light as one in Europe who covered his table with offal fit 
for nothing but beggars or dogs." Turtle is here also 
in abundance, but despised by Europeans ; indeed, for what 
reason I know not, it is neither so sweet nor so fat as our 
West Indian turtle, even in England. They have also a 
kind of large lizard or iguana, some of which are said to be 
as thick as a man's thigh. I shot one about five feet long, 
and it proved very good meat. 

Poultry is prodigiously plentiful; very large fowls, 
ducks, and geese are cheap; pigeons are rather dear and 
turkeys extravagant. In general, those we ate at Batavia 
were lean and dry, but this I am convinced proceeds from 
their being ill-fed, as I have eaten every kind there as good 
or better than commonly met with in Europe. 

Wild fowl are in general scarce. I saw during my stay 
one wild duck in the fields, but never one to be sold. 
Snipe, however, of two kinds, one exactly the same as in 
Europe, and a kind of thrush, are plentifully sold every day 
by the Portuguese, who, for I know not what reason, seem 
to monopolise the wild game. 

Nor is the earth less fruitful of vegetables than she is of 
animals. Eice, which everybody knows is to the inhabitants 
of these countries the common corn, serving instead of 
bread, is very plentiful : one kind of it is planted here, and 
in many of the eastern islands, which in the western parts 
of India is totally unknown. It is called by the natives 
paddy gunang, that is, mountain rice; this, unlike the 
other sort, which must be under water three parts of the 
time of its growth, is planted upon the sides of hills, where 
no water but rain can possibly come. They take, however, 
the advantage of planting it in the beginning of the rainy 
season, by which means they reap it in the beginning of the 


dry. How far this kind of rice might be useful in our West 
Indian islands, where they grow no bread corn at all, I leave 
to the judgment of those who know their respective interests, 
as also the question whether the cassava, or manioc, their 
substitute for bread, is not as wholesome and cheaper than 
anything else which could be introduced among them. 

Besides rice they grow also Indian corn or maize, which 
they gather when young and toast in the ear. They have 
also a vast variety of kidney beans and lentils, called 
cadjang, which make a great part of the food of the common 
people. They have millet, yams, both wet and dry, sweet 
potatoes and some European potatoes, not to be despised, 
but dear. Their gardens produce cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, 
radishes, China white radishes, which boil almost as well as 
turnips, carrots, parsley, celery, pigeon-pease (Cytissus cajan), 
kidney beans of two sorts (DolicJws chinensis and lignosus), egg 
plants (Solatium melongena), which eat delicately when boiled 
with pepper and salt, a kind of greens much like spinach (Con- 
vulvulus reptans), very small but good onions, and asparagus, 
scarce and very bad. They had also some strong-smelling 
European plants, as sage, hyssop and rue, which they thought 
smelt much stronger here than in their native soils, though 
I cannot say I was sensible of it. But the produce of the 
earth from which they derive the greatest advantage is 
sugar ; of it they grow immense quantities, and with little 
care have vast crops of the finest, largest canes imaginable, 
which I am inclined to believe contain in an equal quantity 
a far larger proportion of sugar than our West Indian ones. 
White sugar is sold here for about 2|-d. a pound. The 
molasses makes their arrack, of which, as of rum, it is the 
chief ingredient; a small quantity of rice only, and some 
cocoanut wine, being added, which I suppose gives it its 
peculiar flavour. Indigo they also grow a little, but I 
believe no more than is necessary for their own use. 

The fruits of the East Indies are in general so much 
cried up by those who have eaten of them, and so much 
preferred to our European ones, that I shall give a full list 
of all the sorts which were in season during our stay, and 

1770 FRUITS 391 

my judgment of each, which I confess is not so much in 
their favour, as is that of the generality of Europeans after 
their return home ; though while here I did not find that 
they were more fond of them, or spoke more in their praise, 
when compared with European fruits, than I did. 

(1) The pine-apples (Bromelia ananas), called here nanas, 
are very large, and so plentiful that in cheap times I 
have been told that a man who buys them first hand 
may get them for a farthing apiece. When we were 
there we could without much haggling get two or three 
for twopence halfpenny at the common fruit shops. In 
quality they are certainly good and well flavoured, as good, 
but not a bit better, than those which are called good 
in England. So luxuriant are they in their growth that 
most of them have two or three crowns, and a large 
number of suckers from the bottom of the fruit : I have 
counted nine. These are so forward, that they often, while 
still adhering to the mother, shoot out their fruit, which by 
the time the large one is ripe, are of a tolerable size. Of 
these I have seen three upon one apple, and have been told 
that nine have been seen ; but this was esteemed so great a 
curiosity, that it was preserved in sugar and sent to the 
Prince of Orange. 

(2) Oranges (Citrus aurant. sinensis) are tolerably good, 
but while we were here were very dear, seldom less than 
sixpence apiece. (3) Pumplemouses (Citrus decumanus), called 
in the West Indies shaddocks, were well flavoured, but had 
no juice in them, which we were told depended upon the 
season. (4) Lemons (Citrus medico) were very scarce, but 
the want of them was amply made up by the plenty of 
(5) limes, of which the best were to be bought for about 
twelvepence a hundred. Of Seville oranges I saw two or three 
only, and they were almost all peel. There are many other 
sorts of oranges and lemons ; none of which are at all 
esteemed by the Europeans, or indeed by the natives them- 
selves. (6) Mango (Mangifera indica) : this fruit during our 
stay was so infested with maggots, which bred inside them, 
that scarcely four out of ten would be free ; nor were those 


which were by any means so good as those of Brazil. 
Europeans commonly compare this fruit to a melting peach, 
to which in softness and sweetness it certainly approaches, 
but in flavour as certainly falls much short of any that can 
be called good. The climate, as I have been told, is here too 
hot and damp for them ; and on the coast of India they are 
much better. Here are almost as many sorts of them as of 
apples in England ; some much inferior to others ; some of 
the worst sorts are so bad that the natives themselves can 
hardly eat them when ripe, but use them as an acid when 
just full grown. One sort, called by them mangha cowani, has 
so strong a smell that a European can scarce bear one in the 
room ; these, however, the natives are fond of. The best 
kinds for eating are first mangha, doodool, incomparably 
better than any other, then mangha santock and mangha 
gure ; and besides these three I know no other which a 
European would be at all pleased with. 

(7) Of bananas (Musa) here are likewise innumerable 
kinds : three only of which are good to eat as fruit, viz. pisang 
mas, pisang radja, and pisang ambou ; all of which have a toler- 
ably vinous taste ; the rest, however, are useful in their way. 
Some are fried with butter, others boiled in place of bread 
(which is here a dearer article than meat), etc. One of the 
sorts, however, deserves to be taken notice of by botanists, 
as it is, contrary to the nature of the rest of its tribe, full 
of seeds, from whence it is called pisang latu or pisang lidjis. 
It has, however, no excellence to recommend it to the taste 
or any other way, unless it be, as the Malays think, good 
for the flux. 

(8) Gh-apes (Vitis vinifera) are here to be had, but in no 
great perfection : they are, however, sufficiently dear, a bunch 
about the size of a fist costing about a shilling or eighteen- 
pence. (9) Tamarinds (Tamarindus indica) are prodigiously 
common and as cheap ; the people, however, either do not 
know how to put them up, as the West Indians do, or do 
not practise it, but cure them with salt, by which means they 
become a black mass so disagreeable to the sight and taste 
that few Europeans choose to meddle with them. (10) 

1770 FRUITS 393 

Water melons (Cucurbita citrullus) are plentiful and good, as 
are also (11) pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo), which are certainly 
almost or quite the most useful fruit which can be carried 
to sea, keeping without any care for several months, and 
making, with sugar and lemon-juice, a pie hardly to be dis- 
tinguished from apple-pie, or with pepper and salt, a substi- 
tute for turnips not to be despised. (12) Papaws (Oarica 
papaia) : this fruit when ripe is full of seeds, and almost with- 
out flavour ; but while green, if pared, the core taken out, and 
boiled, is also as good or better than turnips. (13) Guava 
(Psidium pomiferwm) is a fruit praised much by the inhabit- 
ants of our West Indies, who, I suppose, have a better sort 
than we met with here, where the smell of them alone was 
so abominably strong, that Dr. Solander, whose stomach is 
very delicate, could not bear them even in the room, nor did 
their taste make amends, partaking much of the goatish 
rankness of their smell. Baked in pies, however, they lost 
much of this rankness, and we, less nice, ate them very well. 
(14) Sweet sop (Annona squamosa), also a West Indian fruit, 
is nothing but a vast quantity of large kernels, from which 
a small proportion of very sweet pulp, almost totally devoid 
of flavour, may be sucked. (15) Custard apple (Annona 
reticulata) is likewise common to our West Indies, where it 
has got its name, which well enough expresses its qualities ; 
for certainly it is as like a custard, and a good one too, as 
can be imagined. (16) Casshew apple (Anacardium occi- 
dentale) is seldom or never eaten on account of its astrin- 
gency ; the nut which grows on the top of it is well known 
in Europe, where it is brought from the West Indies. (17) 
Cocoanut (Cocos nucifera) is well known everywhere between 
the tropics ; of it are infinite different sorts : the best we 
met with for drinking is called calappa edjou, and easily 
known by the redness of the flesh between the skin and the 

(18) Mangostan (Grarcinia mangostana). As this, and some 
more, are fruits peculiar to the East Indies, I shall give short 
descriptions of them. This is about the size of a crab apple, 
and of a deep red wine colour : at the top of it is a mark 


made by five or six small triangles joined in a circle, and at 
the bottom several hollow green leaves, the remains of the 
flower. When they are to be eaten, the skin, or rather flesh, 
which is thick, must be taken off, under which are found 
six or seven white kernels placed in a circle. The pulp 
with which these are enveloped is what is eaten, and few 
things I believe are more delicious, so agreeably is acid 
mixed with sweet in this fruit, that without any other flavour, 
it competes with, if not excels, the finest flavoured fruits. 
So wholesome also are these mangostans, that they, as well 
as sweet oranges, are allowed without stint to people in 
the highest fevers. (19) Jambu (Eugenia malaccensis) is 
esteemed also a most wholesome fruit ; it is deep red, of an 
oval shape, the largest as big as a small apple ; it has not 
much flavour, but is certainly very pleasant on account of 
its coolness. There are several sorts of it, but, without much 
reference to kinds, the largest and reddest are always the 
best. (20) Jambu ayer (Eugenia). Of these are two sorts, 
alike in shape resembling a bell, but differing in colour, one 
being red and the other white ; in size they a little exceed a 
large cherry ; in taste they are totally devoid of flavour, or 
even sweetness, being nothing more than a little acidulated 
water, and yet their coolness recommends them very much. 
(21) Jambu ayer mauwar (Eugenia jambos) is more pleasant 
to the smell than the taste ; in the latter resembling some- 
thing the conserve of roses, as in the former, the fresh scent 
of those flowers. (22) Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is 
the same fruit as in England, and everywhere else that I 
have met with it, in my opinion but ill repaying any one 
who takes the trouble of breaking its tough hide. (23) 
Durian in shape resembles much a small melon, but has a 
skin covered over with sharp conical spines, whence its name, 
dure signifying in the Malay language a spine. This fruit 
when ripe divides itself longitudinally into seven or eight 
compartments, each of which contains six or seven nuts, not 
quite so large as chestnuts, coated over with a substance 
both in colour and consistence very much resembling thick 
cream. This is the delicate part of the fruit, which the 

1770 FRUITS 395 

natives are vastly fond of ; but few Europeans, at first, how- 
ever, can endure its taste, which resembles sugared cream 
mixed with onions. The smell also prejudices them much 
against it, being most like that of rotten onions. (24) 
Nanca (Sitodium cauliflorum), called in some parts of India 
jack, 1 has like the durian a smell very disagreeable to 
strangers, resembling very mellow apples with a little 
garlic. The taste, however, in my opinion makes amends 
for the smell, though I must say that amongst us English 
I was, I believe, single in that opinion. Authors tell 
strange stories about the immense size to which this 
fruit grows in some countries which are favourable to it. 
Rumphius says that they are sometimes so large that a man 
cannot easily lift one of them : the Malays told me that at 
Madura they were so large that two men could but carry 
one of them; at Batavia, however, they never exceed the 
size of a large melon, which in shape they resemble, but are 
coated over with angular spines like the shootings of some 
crystals : they are, however, soft, and do not at all prick any 
one who handles them. (25) Tsjampada (Sitodium) differs 
from nanca in little else than size. (26) Ramlutan* is a 
fruit seldom mentioned by Europeans ; it is in appearance 
much like a chestnut with the husk on, being like it covered 
with soft prickles, but smaller and of a deep red colour: 
when eaten, this skin must be cut, and under it is a fruit, 
the flesh of which indeed bears but a small proportion to the 
stone, but makes rich amends for the smallness of its quan- 
tity by the elegance of its acid, superior to any other (maybe) 
in the whole vegetable kingdom. (27) Jambolan (Myrtus) 
is in size and appearance not unlike an English damson, but 
has always rather too astringent a flavour to allow it to be 
compared even with that fruit. (28) Boa lidarra (Rhamnus 
jujuba) is a round yellow fruit, about the size of a musket 
bullet; its flavour is compared to an apple, but like the 
former has too much astringency to be compared with any 
thing but a crab. (29) Nam nam (Cynometra cauliflora) is 
shaped something like a kidney, very rough and rugged on 

1 Artocarpus integrifolia, Linn. f. 2 Nephelium lappaceum, Linn. 


the outside and about three inches long : it is seldom eaten 
raw, but when fried with butter makes very good fritters. (30) 
Catappa (Terminalia catappa) and (31) canari (Canarium 
commune) are both nuts, the kernels of which are compared 
to almonds, and indeed are fully as sweet, but the difficulty 
of getting at their kernels out of their tough rinds and hard 
shells is so great that they are nowhere publicly sold, nor 
did I taste any others than those which for curiosity's sake 
I gathered from the tree and had opened under it. (32) 
Madja (Limonia), under a hardish brittle shell, contains a 
slightly acid pulp, which is only eaten mixed with sugar, 
nor is it then to be called pleasant. (33) Suribul (Trichilia) 
is by far the worst fruit of any I .have to mention : it 
is in size and shape much like the madja, as large as a 
middling apple, but rounder ; it has a thick hide, containing 
within it kernels like the mangostan ; its taste is both acid 
and astringent, without one merit to recommend it, indeed I 
should not have thought it eatable, had I not seen it often 
publicly exposed for sale upon the fruit stalls. (34) Blim- 
bing (Averrhoa bilimbi), (35) blimbing-bessi (Averrhoa caram- 
lola), and (36) cherrema (Averrhoa acida) are all three 
species of one genus, which, though they differ much in 
shape, agree in being equally acid, too much so to be used 
without dressing, except only blimbing-bessi, which is sweeter 
than the other two ; they make, however, excellent sour 
sauce, and as good pickles. (37) SalacJc 1 (Calamus rotang- 
zalacca) is the fruit of a most prickly bush ; it is as big as a 
walnut, and covered over with scales like a lizard or snake ; 
these scales, however, easily strip off, and leave two or three 
soft and yellow kernels, in flavour resembling a little, I 
thought, strawberries : in this, however, I was peculiar, for no 
one but myself liked them. In short, I believe I may say that 
bad as the character is that I have given of these fruits, I 
ate as many of them as any one, and at the time thought I 
spoke as well of them as the best friends they had. My 
opinions were then as they are now ; whether my shipmates 
may change theirs between here and home I cannot tell. 

1 A species of rattan cane. 


Besides these they have several fruits eaten only by the 
natives, as Kellor Guilandina, Moringa, Soccum of two or 
three kinds, the same as is called bread-fruit in the South Seas. 
All the kinds here, however, are so incomparably inferior to 
the South Sea ones, that were it not for the great similitude 
of the outward appearance of both tree and plant, they would 
scarcely deserve that name. There are also lilinju (G-netum 
gnemon), loa lune, etc. etc., all which I shall pass over in 
silence as not deserving to be mentioned to any but hungry 

They no doubt have many more which were not in season 
during our stay : we were told also that several kinds of 
European fruits, as apples, strawberries, etc., had been planted 
up in the mountains, where they came to great perfection ; 
but this I can only advance upon the credit of report. 
Several other fruits they have also, which they preserve in 
sugar, as kumquit, boa, atap, etc., but these require to be 
prepared in that way before they are at all eatable. 

Batavia consumes an almost incredible quantity of fruits, 
generally over-ripe, or otherwise bad, before they are sold : 
nor can a stranger easily get any that are good, unless he goes 
to a street called Passar Pisang, which lies north from the great 
church, and very near it. Here there live none but Chinese who 
sell fruit : they are in general supplied from gentlemen's gardens 
in the neighbourhood of the town, and consequently have the 
best always fresh. For this excellence of their goods, however, 
they are well paid, for they will not take less for any kind 
than three or four times as much as the market price ; nor 
did we ever grudge to give it, as their fruit was always ten 
times better than any in the market. The chief supplies of 
Batavia come from a pretty considerable distance, where 
great quantities of land are cultivated merely for the sake of 
the fruits. The country people, to whom these lands belong, 
meet the town's people at two great markets ; one on 
Mondays, called Passar Sineen, and the other on Saturdays, 
called Passar Tanabank, held at very different places ; each 
however, about five miles from Batavia. Here the best of 
fruits may be got at the cheapest rates. The sight of these 


markets is to a European very entertaining. The immense 
quantities of fruit exposed is almost beyond belief : forty or 
fifty cart-loads 'of pine-apples, packed as carelessly as we do 
turnips in England, is nothing extraordinary ; and everything 
else is in the same profusion. The time of holding these 
markets, however, is so ill-contrived, that, as all the fruit for 
the ensuing week, both for retailers and housekeepers, must 
be bought on Saturday and Monday, there is afterwards no 
good fruit in the hands of any but the Chinese in Passar 

Thus much for meat : in the article of drink, nature has 
not been quite so bounteous to the inhabitants of this island 
as she has to some of us, sons of the less abundant North. 
They are not, however, to-day devoid of strong liquors, though 
their religion, Mahometanism, forbids them the use of such ; 
by this means driving them from liquid to solid intoxicants, 
as opium, tobacco, etc. etc. 

Besides their arrack, which is too well known in Europe 
to need any description, they have palm wine, made from a 
species of palm. This liquor is extracted from the branches 
which should have borne flowers, but are cut by people who 
make it their business. Joints of bamboo cane are hung 
under them, into which liquor intended by nature for the 
nourishment of both flowers and fruit, distils in tolerable 
abundance ; and so true is nature to her paths, that so long 
as the fruit of that branch would have remained unripe, so 
long, but no longer, does she supply the liquor or sap. This 
liquor is sold in three states, the first almost as it comes 
from the tree, only slightly prepared by some method 
unknown to me, which causes it to keep thirty -six or 
forty-eight hours instead of only twelve : in this state it is 
sweet and pleasant, tasting a little of smoke, which, though 
at first disagreeable, becomes agreeable by use and not at all 
intoxicating. It is called tuackmanise, or sweet palm- wine. 
The other two, one of which is called tuack oras, and the 
other tuack cuning, are prepared by placing certain roots in 
them, and then fermenting ; so that their taste is altered from 
a sweet to a rather astringent and disagreeable taste, and 

1770 FLOWERS 399 

they have acquired the property of intoxicating in a pretty 
high degree. Besides this they have tuack from the cocoa- 
nut tree, but very little of this is drunk as a liquor ; it being 
mostly used to put into the arrack, of which, when intended 
to be good, it is a necessary ingredient. 

Next to eating and drinking, the inhabitants of this part 
of India seem to place their chief delight in a more delicious 
as well as less blameable luxury, namely, in sweet smells of 
burning rosins, etc., and sweet-scented woods, but more than 
all in sweet flowers, of which they have several sorts, very 
different from ours in Europe. Of these I shall give a short 
account, confining myself to such as were in season during 
our stay here. 

All these were sold about the streets every night at 
sunset, either strung in wreaths of about two feet (a Dutch 
ell) long, or made up into different sorts of nosegays, either 
of which cost about a halfpenny apiece. (1) Champacka 
(Michelia champacJca) grows upon a tree about as large as an 
apple tree, and like it spreading. The flower itself consists 
of fifteen longish narrow petals, which give it the appearance 
of being double, though in reality it is not. Its colour is 
yellow, much deeper than that of a jonquil, which flower, 
however, it somewhat resembles in scent, only is not so 
violently strong. (2) Cananga (Uvaria cananga) is a green 
flower, not at all resembling any European flower, either in 
its appearance, which is more like a bunch of leaves than a 
flower, or smell, which, however, is very agreeable. (3) 
Mulatti (Nyctanthes sambac) is well known in English hot- 
houses under the name of Indian jasmine ; it is here in 
prodigious abundance, and certainly as fragrant as any flower 
they have ; but of this as well as all the Indian flowers it 
may be said that, though fully as sweet as any European, 
even of the same kinds, they have not that overpowering 
strength ; in short, their smell, though very much the same, 
is much more delicate and elegant than any we can boast 
of. (4) Combang caracnassi and (5) Combang tonguin 
(Pergularia glabra) are much alike in shape and smell : small 
flowers of the dog's-bane kind, hardly to be compared to any 


in our English gardens, but like all the rest most elegant in 
their fragrance. (6) Sv/ndal malam (Polianthes tuberosa), 
our English tuberose ; this flower is considerably smaller, 
as well as more mildly fragrant than ours in Europe. The 
Malay name signifies "intriguer of the night," from a 
rather pretty idea. The heat of the climate here allows few 
or no flowers to smell in the day ; and this especially from 
its want of smell and modest white array, seems not at all 
desirous of admirers ; but when night comes its fragrance is 
diffused around and attracts the attention as well as gains 
the admiration of every passer-by. (7) Bonga tanjong 
(Mimusops elengi) is shaped exactly like a star of seven or 
eight rays, about half an inch in diameter ; it is of a yellowish 
colour, and like its fellows has a modest agreeable smell ; but 
it is chiefly used to make a contrast with the mulatti in 
the wreaths which the ladies here wear in their hair, and 
this it does very prettily. 

Besides these there are in private gardens many other 
sweet flowers, which are not in sufficient plenty to be 
brought to market, as Cape jasmine, several sorts of Arabian 
jasmine, though none so sweet as the common, etc. etc. 
They also make a mixture of several of these flowers and 
leaves of a plant called pandang (Pandanus\ chopped 
small, with which they fill their hair and clothes, etc. 
But their great luxury is in strewing their beds full of this 
mixture and flowers ; so that you sleep in the midst of 
perfumes, a luxury scarcely to be expressed or even con- 
ceived in Europe. 

Before I leave the productions of this country I cannot 
help saying a word or two about spices, though in reality 
none but pepper is a native of the island of Java, and but 
little even of that. Of pepper, however, I may say that, 
large as the quantities of it are that are annually imported 
into Europe, little or none is used in this part of the Indies. 
Capsicum or cayenne pepper, as it is called in Europe, has 
almost totally supplied its place. As for cloves and nutmegs, 
the monopoly of the Dutch has made them too dear to be 
plentifully used by the Malays, who are otherwise very fond 


of them. Cloves, though said to be originally the produce of 
Machian or JBachian, 1 a small island far to the eastward, and 
fifteen miles north of the line, from whence they were when 
the Dutch came here disseminated over most or all of the 
eastern isles, are now entirely confined to Amboyna and the 
neighbouring small islets ; the Dutch having by different 
treaties of peace with the conquered kings of all the other 
islands, stipulated that they should have only a certain 
number of trees in their dominions ; and in future quarrels, 
as a punishment, lessened their quantity, till at last they 
left them no right to have any. Nutmegs have been in the 
same manner extirpated in all the islands, except their native 
Banda, which easily supplies this world, and would as easily 
supply another, if the Dutch had but another to supply. Of 
nutmegs, however, there certainly are a few upon the eastern 
coast of New Guinea, a place on which the Dutch hardly 
dare set their feet, on account of the treachery and warlike 
disposition of the natives. There may be also both cloves 
and nutmegs upon the other islands far to the eastward ; for 
those I believe neither the Dutch nor any other nation seem 
to think it worth while to examine at all. 

The town of Batavia, though the capital of the Dutch 
dominions in India, is so far from being peopled with 
Dutchmen, that I may safely affirm that of the Europeans 
inhabiting it and its neighbourhood, not one -fifth part 
are Dutch. Besides them are Portuguese, Indians and 
Chinese, the two last many times exceeding the Europeans 
in number. Of each of these I shall speak separately, 
beginning with Europeans, of which there are some, especially 
in the troops, of almost every nation in Europe. The 
Germans, however, are so much the most numerous, that 
they two or three times exceed in number all other 
Europeans together. Fewer English are settled here than 
of any other nation, and next to them French ; the politic 
Dutch (well knowing that the English and French, being 
maritime powers, must often have ships in the East Indies, 
and will demand and obtain from them the subjects of their 

1 Bachian, off the south-west coast of Gilolo, is really south of the equator. 

2 D 


respective kings) will not enter either English or Frenchmen 
into their service, unless they state that they were born in 
some place out of their own country. This trick, foolish as 
it is, was played with us in the case of an Irishman, whom we 
got on board, and whom they demanded as a Dane, offering to 
prove by their books that he was born at Elsinore ; but our 
captain, convinced by the man's language, refused to give 
him up so resolutely, that they soon ceased their demands. 
Notwithstanding the very great number of other Europeans, 
the Dutch are politic enough to keep all or nearly all the 
great posts, as Eaads of India, Governors, etc., in their own 
hands. Other nations may make fortunes here by traffic if 
they can, but not by employments. No man can come 
over here in any other character than that of a soldier in 
the Company's service ; in which, before he can be accepted, 
he must agree to remain five years. As soon, however, 
as ever he arrives at Batavia, he, by applying to the 
Council, may be allowed to absent himself from his corps, 
and enter immediately into any vocation in which he 
has any money or credit to set up in. 

Women may come out without any of these restrictions, 
be they of what nation they will. We were told that there 
were not in Batavia twenty women born in Europe ; the rest 
of the white women, who were not very scarce, were born of 
white parents, possibly three or four generations distant 
from their European mothers. These imitate the Indians in 
every particular ; their dress, except in form, is the same ; 
their hair is worn in the same manner, and they chew betel 
as plentifully as any Indian ; notwithstanding which I never 
saw a white man chew it during my whole stay. 

Trade is carried on in an easier and more indolent 
way here, I believe, than in any part of the world. The 
Chinese carry on every manufacture of the place, and sell 
the produce to the resident merchants ; for, indeed, they dare 
not sell to any foreigner. Consequently when a ship comes 
in, and bespeaks 100 leggers of arrack, or anything else, the 
seller has nothing to do but to send orders to his China- 
man to deliver them on board such a ship ; which done, the 


latter brings the master of the ship's receipt for the goods 
to his employer, who does nothing but receive money from 
the stranger, and, reserving his profit, pay the Chinaman his 
demands. With imports, however, they must have a little 
more trouble ; for they must examine, receive, and preserve 
them in their own warehouses, as other merchants do. 

To give a character of them in their dealings, I need only 
say that the jewel known to English merchants by the name 
of fair dealing is totally unknown here : they have joined all 
the art of trade that a Dutchman is famous for to the deceit 
of an Indian. Cheating by false weights and measures, false 
samples, etc. etc., are looked upon only as arts of trade : if you 
do not find them out, 'tis well ; if you do, " well," they say, 
" then we must give what is wanting," and refund without 
a blush or the least wrangle, as I myself have seen in 
matters relating to the ship. But their great forte is asking 
one price for their commodities and charging another ; 
so that a man who has laid in 100 peculs of sugar, at five 
dollars a pecul as he thinks, will, after it has been a week 
or ten days on board, have a bill brought him in at seven ; nor 
will the merchant go from his charge unless a written agree- 
ment or witnesses be brought to prove the bargain. For 
my own part I was fortunate enough to have heard this 
character of them before I came here ; and wanting nothing 
but daily provision, agreed immediately in writing for every 
article at a certain price, which my landlord could con- 
sequently never depart from. I also, as long as I was well, 
constantly once a week, looked over my bill, and took it into my 
possession, never, however, without scratching out the charges 
of things which I had never had to a considerable amount, 
which was always done without a moment's hesitation. 

Next to the Dutch are the Portuguese, who are called by 
the natives Oran Serane, that is Nazarenes, to distinguish 
them from the Europeans, notwithstanding which, they are 
included in the general name of Capir or Cqfir, an oppro- 
brious term given by the Mahometans to all those who have 
not entered into their faith, of whatsoever religion they may 
be. These, though formerly they were Portuguese, have no 


loDger any pretensions to more than the name ; they have all 
changed their religion and become Lutherans, and have no 
communication with or even knowledge of the country of 
their forefathers. They speak, indeed, a corrupt dialect of the 
Portuguese language, but much oftener Malay : none of them 
are suffered to employ themselves in any but mean occupa- 
tions ; many make their livelihood by hunting, taking in 
washing, and some by handicraft trades. Their customs are 
precisely the same as those of the Indians, like them they 
chew betel, and are only to be distinguished from them by 
their noses being sharper, their skins considerably blacker, 
and their hair dressed in a manner different from that of 

The Dutch, Portuguese, and Indians here are entirely 
waited upon by slaves, whom they purchase from Sumatra, 
Malacca, and almost all their eastern islands. The natives 
of Java only have an exemption from slavery, enforced by 
strong penal laws, which, I believe, are very seldom broken. 
The price of these slaves is from ten to twenty pounds sterling 
apiece ; excepting young girls, who are sold on account of 
their beauty ; these sometimes go as high as a hundred, but 
I believe never higher. They are a most lazy set of people, 
but contented with a little ; boiled rice, with a little of the 
cheapest fish, is the food which they prefer to all others. 
They differ immensely in form of body, disposition, and 
consequently in value, according to the countries they come 
from. African negroes, called here Papua, are the cheapest 
and worst disposed of any, being given to stealing and almost 
incorrigible by stripes. Next to them are the Bougis and the 
Macassars, both inhabitants of the island of Celebes. They 
are lazy and revengeful in the highest degree, easily giving 
up their lives to satisfy their revenge. The island of Bali 
sends the most honest and faithful, consequently the dearest 
slaves, and Mas, a small island on the coast of Sumatra, 
the handsomest women, but of tender, delicate constitutions, 
ill able to bear the unwholesome climate of Batavia. 
Besides these are many more sorts, whose names and 
qualifications I have entirely forgotten. 

i7?o SLAVES 405 

The laws and customs regarding the punishment of slaves 
are these. A master may punish his slaves as far as he 
thinks proper by stripes, but should death be the consequence, 
he is called to a very severe account ; if the fact is proved, 
very rarely escaping with life. There is, however, an officer 
in every quarter of the town called marineu, who is a kind of 
constable. He attends to quell all riots, takes up all people 
guilty of crimes, etc., but is more particularly utilised for 
apprehending runaway slaves, and punishing them for that 
or any other crime for which their master thinks they 
deserve a greater punishment than he chooses to inflict. 
These punishments are inflicted by slaves bred up to the 
business : on men they are inflicted before the door of their 
master's house : on women, for decency's sake, within it. 
The punishment is stripes, in number according to custom 
and the nature of the crime, with rods made of split rattans, 
which fetch blood at every stroke. Consequently they may 
be, and sometimes are, very severe. A common punishment 
costs the master of the slave a rix-dollar (4s.), and a severe 
one about a ducatoon (6s. 8d.) For their encouragement, 
however, and to prevent them from stealing, the master of 
every slave is obliged to give him three dubblecheys (*7|-d.) 
a week. 

Extraordinary as it may seem, there are very few Javans, 
that is descendants of the original inhabitants of Java, who 
live in the neighbourhood of Batavia, but there are as many 
sorts of Indians as there are countries the Dutch import 
slaves from ; either slaves made free or descendants of such. 
They are all called by the name of oran slam, or Isalam, 
a name by which they distinguish themselves from all other 
religions, the term signifying believers of the true faith. 
They are again subdivided into innumerable divisions, the 
people from each country keeping themselves in some degree 
distinct from the rest. The dispositions generally observed 
in the slaves are, however, visible in the freemen, who 
completely inherit the different vices or virtues of their 
respective countries. 

Many of these employ themselves in cultivating gardens, 


and in selling fruit and flowers; all the betel and areca, 
called here siri and pinang, of which an immense quantity is 
chewed by Portuguese, Chinese, Slams, slaves, and freemen, 
is grown by them. The lime that they use here is, however, 
slaked, by which means their teeth are not eaten up in the 
same manner as those of the people of Savu who use it 
unslaked. They mix it also with a substance called gambir, 
which is brought from the continent of India, and the better 
sort of women use with their chew many sorts of perfumes, 
as cardamoms, etc., to give the breath an agreeable smell. 
Many also get a livelihood by fishing and carrying goods 
upon the water, etc. Some, however, there are who are very 
rich and live splendidly in their own way, which consists 
almost entirely in possessing a number of slaves. 

In the article of food no people can be more abstemious 
than they are. Boiled rice is of rich, as well as of poor, the 
principal part of their subsistence : this with a small pro- 
portion of fish, buffalo or fowl, and sometimes dried fish and 
dry shrimps, brought here from China, is their chief food. 
Everything, however, must be highly seasoned with cayenne 
pepper. They have also many pastry dishes made of rice 
flour and other things I am totally ignorant of, which are 
very pleasant : fruit also they eat much of, especially 

Their feasts are plentiful, and in their way magnificent, 
though they consist more of show than meat : artificial 
flowers, etc., are in profusion, and meat plentiful, though 
there is no great variety of dishes. Their religion of Ma- 
hometanism denies them the use of strong liquors : nor do I 
believe that they trespass much in that way, having always 
tobacco, betel, and opium wherewith to intoxicate themselves. 
Their weddings are carried on with vast form and show : 
the families concerned borrowing as many gold and silver 
ornaments as possible to adorn the bride and bridegroom, so 
that their dresses are always costly. The feasts and cere- 
monies relating to them last in rich men's families a fort- 
night or more ; during all which time the man, though married 
on the first day, is by the women kept from his wife. 

1770 MALAYS 407 

The language spoken among them is entirely Malay, or at 
least so called, for I believe it is a most corrupt dialect. 
Notwithstanding that Java has two or three languages, and 
almost every little island besides its own, distinct from the 
rest, yet none use, or I believe remember, their own language, 
so that this Lingua Franca Malay is the only one spoken in 
this neighbourhood, and, I have been told, over a very large 
part of the East Indies. 

Their women, and in imitation of them the Dutch also, 
wear as much hair as ever they can nurse up on their heads, 
which by the use of oils, etc., is incredibly great. It is 
universally black, and they wear it in a kind of circular 
wreath upon the tops of their heads, fastened with a 
bodkin, in a taste inexpressibly elegant. I have often wished 
that one of our ladies could see a Malay woman's head 
dressed in this manner, with her wreath of flowers, commonly 
Arabian jasmine, round that of hair ; for in that method of 
dress there is certainly an elegant simplicity and unaffected 
show of the beauties of nature incomparably superior to any- 
thing I have seen in the laboured head-dresses of my fair 
country-women. Both sexes bathe themselves in the river 
constantly at least once a day, a most necessary custom 
in hot climates. Their teeth also, disgustful as they must 
appear to a European from their blackness, occasioned by 
their continued chewing of betel, are a great object of 
attention : every one must have them filed into the 
fashionable form, which is done with whetstones by a most 
troublesome and painful operation. First, both the upper 
and under teeth are rubbed till they are perfectly even and 
quite blunt, so that the two jaws lose not less than half a 
line each in the operation. Then a deep groove is made in 
the middle of the upper teeth, crossing them all, and itself 
cutting through at least one-fourth of the whole thickness of 
the teeth, so that the enamel is cut quite through, a fact 
which we Europeans, who are taught by our dentifricators 
that any damage done to the enamel is mortal to the tooth, 
find it difficult to believe. Yet among these people, where 
this custom is universal, I have scarce seen even in old people 


a rotten tooth : much may be attributed to what they chew so 
continually, which they themselves, and indeed every one else, 
agree is very beneficial to the teeth. The blackness, however, 
caused by this, of which they are so proud, is not a fixed 
stain, but may be rubbed off at pleasure, and then their 
teeth are as white as ivory, but very soon regain their 
original blackness. 

No one who has ever been in these countries can be 
ignorant of the practice here called amoc, which means 
that an Indian intoxicated with opium rushes into the 
street with a drawn dagger in his hand, and kills every- 
body he meets, especially Europeans, till he is himself either 
killed or taken. This happened at Batavia three times 
while we were there to my knowledge, and much oftener I 
believe ; for the marineu, or constable, whose business it is 
to apprehend such people, himself told me there was scarcely 
a week when either he himself or some of his brethren was 
not called upon to seize or kill them. So far, however, from 
being an accidental madness which drove them to kill 
whomsoever they met without distinction of persons, the 
three people that I knew of, and I have been told all others, 
had been severely injured, chiefly in love affairs, and first 
revenged themselves on the party who had injured them. 
It is true that they had made themselves drunk with opium 
before they committed this action ; and when it was done 
rushed out into the streets, foaming at the mouth like mad 
dogs, with their drawn criss or dagger in their hands : but 
they never attempted to hurt any one except those who tried 
or appeared to them to try to stop or seize them. Whoever 
ran away or went on the other side of the street was safe. 
To prove that these people distinguish persons, mad as they 
are with opium, there is a famous story in Batavia of one 
who ran amoc on account of stripes and ill-usage which he 
had received from his mistress and her elder daughter, but 
who on the contrary had always been well used by the 
younger. He stabbed first the eldest daughter ; the youngest 
hearing the bustle, ran to the assistance of her mother, and 
placed herself between him and her, attempting to persuade 

1770 RUNNING AMOC 409 

him from his design ; but he repeatedly pushed her on one 
side before he could get at her mother, and when he had 
killed the latter, ran out as usual. These people are generally 
slaves, who indeed are by much the most subject to insults, 
which they cannot revenge. Freemen, however, sometimes 
do it : one of them who did it while I was there was free 
and of some substance. The cause was jealousy of his own 
brother, whom he killed, with two more that attempted to 
oppose him before he was taken. He, however, never came 
out of his house, which he attempted to defend ; but so mad 
was he with the effects of the opium, that out of three 
muskets which he tried to use against the officers of justice, 
not one was either loaded or primed. 

The marineu has also these amocs committed to his 
charge. If he takes them alive his reward is great : if he 
kills them that reward is lost ; notwithstanding which three 
out of four are killed, so resolute and active is their resistance 
when attacked. They have contrivances like large tongs or 
pincers to catch them, and hold them till disarmed : those 
who are taken are generally wounded severely; for the 
marineu' s assistants, who are all armed with hangers, know 
how to lame the man if once they can get within reach. 
The punishment of this crime is always breaking upon the 
wheel ; nor is that ever relaxed, but so strictly adhered to, 
that if an amoc when taken is judged by the physician to 
be in danger from his wounds, he is executed the very next 
day, as near as possible to the place where he committed 
his first murder. 

Among their absurd opinions proceeding from their 
original idolatry, which they still retain to some extent, is 
certainly the custom of consecrating meat, money, etc., to 
the devil, whom they call Satan. This is done, either in 
cases of dangerous sickness, when they by these means try 
to appease the devil, whom they believe to be the cause of 
all sickness, and make him spare the diseased man's life, or 
in consequence of dreams. If any man is restless and 
dreams much for two or three nights, he immediately con- 
cludes that Satan has taken that method of laying his 


commands upon him, and that if he neglects to fulfil them, 
he will certainly suffer sickness or death as a punishment 
for his inattention. Consequently he begins to labour over 
in his brains all the circumstances of his dream, and try his 
utmost to put some explanation or other upon them. In 
this, if he fails, he sends for the cawin or priest, who assists 
him to interpret them. Sometimes Satan orders him to do 
this thing or that, but generally he wants either meat or 
money, which is always sent him, and hung upon a little 
plate made of cocoanut leaves on the boughs of a tree, near 
the river. I have asked them what they thought the devil 
did with money, and whether or no they thought that he 
ate the victuals. As for the money, they said, so that the 
man ordered to do so did but part with it, it signified not 
who took it, therefore it was generally a prey to the first 
stranger who found it ; and the meat he did not eat, but 
bringing his mouth near it, he at once sucked all the savour 
out of it, without disturbing its position in the least, but 
rendering it as tasteless as water. 

But what is more difficult to reconcile to the rules of 
human reason, is the belief that these people have, that 
women who bring forth children sometimes bring forth at 
the same time young crocodiles as twins to the children. 
These creatures are received by the midwives most carefully, 
and immediately carried down to the river, where they are 
turned loose, but have victuals supplied them constantly 
from the family, especially the twin, who is obliged to 
go down to the river every now and then, and give meat 
to this sudara, as it is called. The latter, if he is deprived of 
such attendance, constantly afflicts his relation with sickness. 
The existence of an opinion so contrary to human reason, 
and which seemed totally unconnected with religion, was 
with me long a subject of doubt, but the universal testimony 
of every Indian I ever heard speak of it was not to be 
withstood. It seems to have taken its rise in the islands of 
Celebes and Bouton, very many of the inhabitants of which 
have crocodiles in their families ; from thence it has spread 
all over the eastern islands, even to Timor and Ceram, and 


west again as far as Java and Sumatra ; on which islands, 
however, such instances are very scarce among the natives. 
To show how firmly this prejudice has laid hold of the 
minds of ignorant people, I shall repeat one story out of 
the multitude I have heard, confirming it from ocular 

A slave girl who was born and bred up among the 
English at Bencoulen on the island of Sumatra, by which 
means she had learnt a little English, told me that her 
father when on his deathbed told her that he had a crocodile 
for his sudara, and charged her to give him meat, etc., after 
he was gone, telling her in what part of the river he was to 
be found. She went, she said, constantly, and calling him 
by his name Eadja pouti (White King), he came out of the 
water to her, and ate what she brought. He was, she said, 
not like other crocodiles, but handsomer, his body being 
spotted, and his nose red ; moreover, he had bracelets of gold 
on his feet, and earrings of the same metal in his ears. I 
heard her out patiently, without finding fault with the 
absurdity of her giving ears to a crocodile. While I am 
writing this, my servant, whom I hired at Batavia, and is a 
mongrel, between a Dutchman and a Java woman, tells me 
that he has seen at Batavia a crocodile of this kind : it was 
about two feet long, being very young. Many, both Malays 
and Dutch, saw it at the same time ; it had gold bracelets on. 
" Ah ! " said I, " why such a one at Batavia told me of one 
which had earrings likewise, and you know that a crocodile 
has no ears." " Ah ! but," said he, " these sudara are different 
from other crocodiles, they have five toes on each foot, and 
a large tongue which fills the mouth, and they have ears 
also, but they are very small." So far will a popular error 
deceive people unused to examine into the truth of what 
they are told. The Bougis, Macassars, and Boutons, many 
of whom have such relations left behind in their own 
country, make a kind of ceremonial feast in memory of 
them : a large party go in a boat furnished with plenty of 
provisions of all kinds and music, and row about in places 
where crocodiles or alligators are most common, singing and 


crying by turns, each invoking his relation. In this manner 
they go on till they are fortunate enough to see, or fancy at 
least that they see, one, when their music at once stops, and 
they throw overboard provisions, betel, tobacco, etc., imagin- 
ing, I suppose, that their civility to the species will induce 
their kindred at home to think well of them, though unable 
to pay their proper offerings. 

Next come (the Chinese, who in this place are very 
numerous, but seem to be people of small substance. Many 
of them live within the walls, and keep shops, some few of 
which are furnished with a pretty rich show of European 
as well as Chinese goods ; but by far the greater number 
live in a quarter by themselves, without the walls, called 
Campon China. Besides these, there are others scattered 
everywhere about the country, where they cultivate gardens, 
sow rice and sugar, or keep cattle and buffaloes, whose milk 
they bring daily to town. JSTor are the inhabitants of the 
town and Campon China less industrious : you see among 
them carpenters, joiners, smiths, tailors, slipper-makers, dyers 
of cottons, embroiderers, etc. ; in short, the general character 
of industry given to them by all authors who have written 
on them is well exemplified here, although the more genteel 
of their customs cannot, on account of the want of rich 
and well-born people, be found among them : those can be 
shown in China alone ; here nothing can be found but the 
native disposition of the lowest class of people. There is 
nothing, be it of what nature it will, clean or dirty, honest 
or dishonest (provided there is not too much danger of a 
halter), which a Chinese will not readily do for money. 
They work diligently and laboriously, and, loth to lose sight 
of their main point, money getting, no sooner do they leave 
off work than they begin to game, either with cards, dice, 
or some one of the thousand games they have, which are 
unknown to us in Europe. In this manner they spend their 
lives, working and gaming, scarcely allowing themselves time 
for the necessary refreshments of food and sleep ; in short, 
it is as extraordinary a sight to see a Chinaman idle as it 
is to see a Dutchman or Indian at work. 

1770 CHINESE 413 

In manner they are always civil, or rather obsequious ; 
in dress always neat and clean in a high degree, from the 
highest to the lowest. To attempt to describe either their 
dresses or persons would be only to repeat some of the many 
accounts of them that have already been published, as every 
one has been written by people who had much better oppor- 
tunities of seeing them, and more time to examine them 
than I have had. Indeed, a man need go no farther to 
study them than the China paper, the better sorts of which 
represent their persons, and such of their customs, dresses, 
etc., as I have seen, most strikingly like, though a little in 
the caricatura style. Indeed, some of the plants which are 
common to China and Java, as bamboo, are better figured 
there than in the best botanical authors that I have seen. 
In eating, they are easily satisfied, not but that the richer 
have many savoury dishes. Eice, however, is the chief food 
of the poor, with a little fish or flesh, as they can afford it. 
They have a great advantage over the Malays, not being 
taught by their laws or religion to abstain from any food 
that is wholesome, so that, besides pork, dogs, cats, frogs, 
lizards and some kinds of snakes, as well as many sea 
animals looked upon by other people to be by no means 
eatable, are their constant food. In the vegetable way, they 
also eat many things which Europeans would never think 
of, even if starving with hunger ; as the young leaves of 
many trees, the lump of Iractece and flowers at the end of a 
bunch of plantains, the flowers of a tree called by the Malays 
combang ture (Aeschinomine grandiflora), the pods of Jcellor 
(G-uilandina moringa), two sorts of blites (Amaranthus), all 
which are boiled or stewed; also the seeds of taratti 
(NympJiea Nelumbo), which indeed are almost as good as 
hazel nuts. All these, however, the Malays also eat, as well 
as many more whose names I had not an opportunity of 
learning, as my illness rendering me weak and unable to go 
about prevented me from mixing with these people as I 
should otherwise have done. 

In their burials the Chinese have an extraordinary super- 
stition, which is that they will never more open the ground 


where a man has been buried. Thus their burying-grounds 
in the neighbourhood of Batavia cover many hundred acres, 
on which account the Dutch, grudging the quantity of 
ground laid waste by this method, will only sell them land 
for it at enormous prices ; notwithstanding which they will 
always raise money to purchase grounds, whenever they can 
find the Dutch in a humour to sell them ; and actually had 
while we were there a great deal of land intended for that 
purpose, but not yet begun upon. Their funerals are 
attended with much purchased and some real lamentations ; 
the relations of the deceased attending as well as women 
hired to weep. The corpse is nailed up in a large thick 
wooden coffin, not made of planks, but hollowed out of a 
trunk of a tree. This is let down into the grave and then 
surrounded with eight or ten inches of their mortar or 
chinam as it is called, which in a short time becomes as 
hard as a stone, so that the bones of the meanest among 
them are more carefully preserved from injury than those of 
our greatest and most respected people. 

Of the Government here I can say but very little, only 
that a great subordination is kept up ; every man who is able 
to keep house having a certain rank acquired by the length of 
his services to the Company, which ranks are distinguished 
by the ornaments of the coaches and dresses of the coach- 
man ; for instance, one must ride in a plain coach, another 
paints his coach with figures and gives his driver a laced hat, 
another gilds his coach, etc. 

The Governor-General who resides here is superior over 
all the Dutch Governors and other officers in the East 
Indies, who, to a man, are obliged to come to him at Batavia 
to have their accounts passed. If they are found to have 
been at all negligent or faulty, it is a common practice to 
delay them here one, two or three years, according to the 
pleasure of the Governor ; for no one can leave the place 
without his consent. Next to the Governor-General are the 
Raaden van Indie, or members of the Council, called here 
Edele Heeren, and by the corruption of the English Idoleers, 
in respect to whom every one who meets them in a carriage 


is obliged to drive on one side of the road, and stop there 
till they have passed, which distinction is expected by their 
wives and even children, and commonly paid to them. Nor 
can the hired coachman be restrained from paying this 
slavish mark of respect by anything but the threats of 
instant death, as some of our captains have experienced, who 
thought it beneath the dignity of the rank they held in his 
Britannic Majesty's service to submit to any such humiliating 

Justice is administered here by a parcel of gentlemen 
of the law, who have ranks and dignities among themselves 
as in Europe. In civil matters I know nothing of their 
proceedings, but in criminal they are rather severe to the 
natives, and too lenient to their countrymen, who, whatever 
crime they have committed, are always allowed to escape if 
they choose ; and, If brought to trial, very rarely' punished 
with death. The poor Indians, on the other hand, are flogged, 
hanged, broken upon the wheel, and even impaled without 
mercy. While we were there three remarkable crimes were 
committed by Christians, two duellists each killed his 
antagonist, and both fled ; one took refuge on board our ship, 
bringing with him so good a character from the Batavians, 
that the captain gave him protection, nor was he ever 
demanded. The other, I suppose, went on board some other 
ship, as he was never taken. The third was a Portuguese, 
who by means of a false key had robbed an office to which 
he belonged of 1400 or 1500 pounds; he, however, was 
taken, but instead of death condemned to a public whipping, 
and banishment to Edam for ninety-nine years. 

The Malays and Chinese have each proper offices of their 
own, a captain and lieutenants as they are called, who 
administer justice among them in civil cases, subject to an 
appeal to the Dutch court, which, however, rarely occurs. 
Before the Chinese rebellion, as the Dutch, or the massacre, 
as the Chinese themselves and most Europeans, call it, in 
1740 (when the Dutch, upon, maybe, too slight information, 
massacred no man knows how many thousand unresisting 
Chinese, for a supposed rebellion which the latter to this 


day declare they never so much as thought of), the Chinese 
had two or three of their body in the Council, and had many 
more privileges than now. From that time to this they have 
by no means recovered either their former opulence or 
numbers. Every one now who has got anything considerable 
prefers to retire with it either to China or anywhere, rather 
than remain in the power of a people who have behaved so 
ill to them. 

The taxes paid by these people to the Company are very 
considerable ; among which that commonly said to be paid 
for the liberty of wearing their hair is not inconsiderable. 
It is, however, no other than a kind of head-money or poll- 
tax, for no Chinese can wear his hair who has ever been in 
China, it being a principle of their religion never to let their 
hair grow again when once it has been shaved off. These 
taxes are paid monthly, when a flag is hoisted at a house in 
the middle of the town appointed for that purpose. 

The coins current here are ducats, worth 11s. sterling, 
ducatoons (6s. 8d.), Imperial rix-dollars (5s.), rupees (2s. 6d.), 
scellings (Is. 6d.), dubblecheys (2|-d.) and doits (^d.) Spanish 
dollars were when we were there at 5s. 5d., and we were 
told were never lower than 5s. 4d. Even at the Company's 
warehouse I could get no more than 19s. for English guineas, 
for though the Chinamen would give 20s. for some of the 
brightest, they would for those at all worn give no more than 
17s. Strangers must, however, be cautious in receiving 
money, as there are several kinds, of two sorts, milled and 
unmilled ; ducatoons, for example, when milled are worth 
6s. 8d., unmilled only 6s. All accounts are kept in rix- 
dollars and stivers, both imaginary coins, at least here ; the 
first worth 4s., the other Id. It must also be remarked that 
this valuation of their coin is rated on the supposition of a 
stiver being worth a penny, while it is really more ; a 
current rix-dollar of 48 stivers being worth 4s. 6d. 


DECEMBER 25, 1770 

Leave Batavia Cracatoa Mosquitos on board ship Prince's Island 
Visit the town Account of Prince's Island Produce Religion Nuts 
of Cycas circinalis Town Houses Bargaining Language Affinity of 
Malay, Madagascar and South Sea Islands languages Leave Prince's 
Island Sickness on board Deaths of Mr. Sporing, Mr. Parkinson, Mr. 
Green, and many others Coast of Natal Dangerous position of the 
ship Cape of Good Hope Dr. Solander's illness French ships 
Bougainville's voyage. 

25th December 17*70. There was not, I believe, a man 
in the ship but gave his utmost aid to getting up the anchor, 
so completely tired was every one of the unhealthy air of this 
place. We had buried here eight people. In general, 
however, the crew were in rather better health than they had 
been a fortnight before. 1 

While we were at work a man was missed, and as it 
was supposed that he did not intend to stay ashore, a boat 
was sent after him ; its return delayed us so long that we 
entirely lost the sea breeze, and were obliged to come to 
again a few cables' lengths only from where we lay before. 

1st January 1771. Worked all night, and to-day like- 
wise : at night anchored under a high island, called in the 
draughts Cracatoa and by the Indians Pulo Eacatta. I had 
been unaccountably troubled with mosquitos ever since we 

1 At the time of sailing the number of sick on board amounted to forty or 
more, and the rest were in a weakly condition, having every one been sick 
except the sailmaker, an old man about seventy or eighty years of age ; and 
what was more extraordinary about this man was his being more or less 
generally drunk every day. Wharton's Cook, p. 362. 

2 E 


left Batavia, and still imagined that they increased instead 
of decreasing, although my opinion was universally thought 
improbable. To-day, however, the mystery was discovered, 
for on getting up water Dr. Solander, who happened to 
stand near the scuttle-cask, observed an infinite number 
of them in their water-state, which, as soon as the sun had 
a little effect upon the water, began to come out in real 
effective mosquitos incredibly fast. 

2nd. We saw that there were many houses and much 
cultivation upon Cracatoa, so that probably a ship which 
chose to touch here in preference to Prince's Island might 
meet with refreshments. 

4th. Soon after dinner-time to-day we anchored under 
Prince's Island and went ashore. The people who met us 
carried us immediately to a man who they told us was their 
king, and with whom, after a few compliments, we proceeded 
to business. This was to settle the price of turtle, in which 
we did not well agree. This, however, did not at all dis- 
courage us, as we doubted not but that in the morning we 
should have them at our own price. So we walked a little 
way along shore and the Indians dispersed. One canoe, 
however, remained, and, just as we went off", sold us three 
turtle on a promise that we should not tell the king. 

6th. Ashore to-day trading : the Indians dropped their 
demands very slowly, but were very civil. Towards noon, 
however, they came down to the offered price, so that before 
night we had bought up a large supply of turtle. In the 
evening I went to pay my respects to his Majesty the king, 
whom I found in his house in the middle of a rice-field, cook- 
ing his own supper; he received me, however, very politely. 

llth. My servant, Sander, whom I had hired at Batavia, 
having found out that these people had a town somewhere 
along shore to the westward, and not very far off, I resolved 
to visit it ; but knowing that the inhabitants were not at all 
desirous of our company, kept my intentions secret from 
them. In the morning I set out, accompanied by our second 
lieutenant, and went along shore, telling all whom I met 
that I was in search of plants, which indeed was also the 


case. In about two hours we arrived at a place where were 
four or five houses. Here we met an old man, and ventured 
to ask him questions about the town. He said it was very 
distant; but we, not much relying on his information, 
proceeded on our way, as did he in our company, attempting, 
however, several times to lead us out of the pathway which 
we were now in. We remained firm to our purpose, and 
soon got sight of our desired object; the old man then 
turned our friend, and accompanied us to the houses, I 
suppose nearly 400 in number, divided into the old and 
new town, between which was a brackish river. In the old 
town we met with several old acquaintances, one of whom 
at the rate of 2d. a head undertook to transport us over the 
river, which he did in two very small canoes, which we 
prevented from oversetting by laying them alongside each 
other, and holding them together. In this manner we 
safely went through our navigation, and arrived at the new 
town, where were the houses of the king and all the nobilities. 
These the inhabitants very freely showed to us, though most 
of them were shut up, the people in general at this time of 
the year living in their rice-fields, to defend the crop from 
monkeys, birds, etc. When our curiosity was satisfied, we 
hired a large sailing boat, for which we gave two rupees 
(4s.), 1 and which carried us home again in time to dine upon 
a deer we had bought the day before. It proved very good 
and savoury meat. 

In the evening, when we went ashore, we were acquainted 
that an axe had been stolen from one of our people : this, as 
the first theft, we thought it not proper to pass over, so 
immediate application was made to the king, who after some 
time promised that it should be returned in the morning. 

12th. The hatchet was brought down according to 
promise ; the thief, they said, afraid of conviction, had in the 
night conveyed it into the house of the man who brought it. 
Myself was this day seized with a return of my Batavia 
fever, which I attributed to having been much exposed to a 
burning sun in trading with the natives. 

1 At Batavia the rupee was stated to be worth 2s. 6d. 


1 3th. My fever returned, but I resolved not to attempt 
to cure it till in the main ocean I should meet with a better 
air than this uncleared island could possibly have. In the 
evening after my fit I went ashore to the king, to whom 
time after time I had made small presents, altogether not of 
five shillings value, carrying two quires of paper, which, like 
everything else, he most thankfully received. We had much 
conversation, the purport of which was his asking why the 
English ships did not touch here, as they used to do. I 
told him that as they had not on the island turtle enough to 
supply one ship, they could not expect many ; but advised 
him to breed cattle, sheep, and buffaloes, which advice, 
however, he did not seem much to approve of. 

Some account of Prince's Island. 

Prince's Island, as it is called by the English, in Malay 
Pulo Selan, and in the language of the inhabitants Pulo 
Paneitan, is a small island situated at the western entrance 
to the straits of Sunda. It is woody and has no remarkable 
hill upon it, though the English call the small one which is 
just over the anchoring place the Pike. This island was 
formerly much frequented by India ships of many nations, 
but especially English, who have of late forsaken it, on 
account, it is said, of the badness of its water, and stop 
either at North Island, a small island on the Sumatra coast 
outside the east entrance of the straits, or at New Bay, a 
few leagues only from Prince's Island, at neither of which 
places, however, can any quantity of refreshments be procured. 

Its chief produce is water, which is so situated that if 
you are not careful in taking it high enough up the brook, 
it will inevitably be brackish, from which circumstance alone 
I believe it has got a bad name with almost all nations. It 
also produces turtle, of which, however, its supplies are not 
great ; so that if a ship comes second or third in the season 
she must be contented with small ones, and no great plenty of 
them, as indeed was in some measure our case. We bought 
at very various prices, according to the humour of the people ; 


but, altogether, I believe, they came to about a halfpenny or 
three farthings a pound. They were of the green kind, but 
not fat nor well flavoured in any degree, as they are in most 
other parts. This I believe is in great measure owing to the 
people keeping them, sometimes for a very long time, in crawls 
of brackish water, where they have no kind of food given to 
them. Fowls are tolerably cheap, a dozen large ones sold 
when we were there for a Spanish dollar, which is 5d. 
apiece. They have also plenty of monkeys and small deer 
(Moschus pygmceus), the largest of which are not quite so big 
as a new fallen lamb, and another kind of deer, called by 
them munchack, about the size of a sheep. The monkeys 
were about half a dollar (2s. 6d.), the small deer 2d. ; the 
larger, of which they brought down only two, a rupee, or 2s. 
Fish they have of various kinds, and we always found 
them tolerably cheap. Vegetables they have : cocoanuts 
a dollar for 100, if you choose them, or 130 if you take 
them as they come, plantains in plenty, some water melons, 
pine-apples, jaccas (jack fruit), pumpkins ; also rice, chiefly of 
the mountain sort which grows on dry land, yams, and 
several other vegetables : all which are sold reasonably enough. 

The inhabitants are Javans, whose Eadja is subject to 
the Sultan of Bantam, from whom they receive orders, and 
to whom they possibly pay a tribute, but of that I am not 
certain. Their customs, I believe, are very much like those 
of the Indians about Batavia, only they seem much more 
jealous of their women, so much so that I never saw one 
during the whole time of our stay, unless she was running away 
at full speed to hide herself in the woods. Their religion is 
Mahometanism, but I believe they have not a mosque upon 
the island : they were, however, very strict in the observance 
of their fast (the same as the Ramadan of the Turks), during 
which we happened to come. Not one would touch victuals 
until sunset, or even chew their betel ; but half an hour 
before that time all went home to cook the kettle, nor would 
they stay for any time but in the hope of extraordinary profit. 

The food was nearly the same as the Batavian Indians, 
adding only to it the nuts of the palm Cycas circinalis, with 


which on the coast of JSTew Holland some of our people 
were made ill, and some of our hogs poisoned outright. 
Their method of preparing them to get rid of their deleterious 
qualities they told me were, first to cut the nuts into thin 
slices and dry them in the sun, then to steep them in fresh 
water for three months, afterwards pressing the water from 
them, and drying them in the sun once more. They, how- 
ever, were so far from being a delicious food that they 
never used them but in times of scarcity, when they mixed 
the preparation with their rice. 

Their town, which they called Samadang, consisted of 
about 400 houses; great part of the old town, however, 
was in ruins. Their houses were all^built upon pillars four 
or five feet above the ground. The plan of that of Gundang, 
a man who seemed to be next in riches and influence to the 
king, will give an idea of them all. It was walled with 
boards, a luxury which none but the king and he himself 
had, but in no other respect differed from those of the 
middling people except in being a little larger. The walls 
were made of bamboo, platted on small 
perpendicular sticks fastened to the 
beams. The floors were also of 
bamboo, each stick, however, laid at 
a small distance from the next ; so 
that the air had a free passage from 
the vtetuSs are ep cooked* e /! below, by which means these houses 

where strangers or visitors were always COOl. The thatch, of 

palm leaves, was always thick and 

strong, so that neither rain nor sunbeams could find entrance 
through it. When we were at the town there were very 
few inhabitants there : the rest lived in occasional houses 
built in the rice-fields, where they watched the crop to 
prevent the devastations of monkeys, birds, etc. These 
occasional houses are smaller than those of the town; the 
posts which support them also, instead of being four or five 
feet in height, are eight or ten : otherwise the divisions, etc., 
are exactly the same. 

Their dispositions, as far as we saw them, were very 


good ; at least they dealt very fairly with us upon all 
occasions, Indian-like, however, always asking double what 
they would take for whatever they had to dispose of. But 
this produced no inconvenience to us, who were used to 
this kind of traffic. In making bargains they were very 
handy, and supplied the want of small money reasonably 
well by laying together a quantity of anything, and when 
the price was settled dividing it among each other according 
to the proportion each had brought to the general stock. 
They would sometimes change our money, giving 240 doits 
for a Spanish dollar, that is 5s. sterling, and 92, that is 
2s. sterling, for a Bengal rupee. The money they chose, 
however, was doits in all small bargains; dubblecheys they 
had, but were very nice in taking them. 

Their language is different both from the Malay and 
Javan : they all, however, speak Malay. 

Prince's Island. 





Oong Lanang 

Oran Lacki Lacki 

A man 


Oong Wadong 


A woman 
A child 




The head 




The nose 




The eyes 




The ears 




The teeth 




The belly 
The thigh 
The knee 




The leg 




A nail 




A hand 

Ramo Langan 



A finger 

These specimens of languages, so near each other in 
situation, I choose to give together, and select the words 
without any previous choice, as I had written them down, 
that the similar and dissimilar words might equally be seen. 
As for the parts of the body which I have made the subject 
of this and all my specimens of language, I chose them in 
preference to all others, as the names of them are easily got 
from people of whose language the inquirer has not the 


least idea. What I call the Javan is the language spoken 
at Samarang, a day's journey from the seat of the Emperor 
of Java. I have been told that there are several other 
languages upon the island, but I had no opportunity of 
collecting words of any of these, as I met with no one who 
could speak them. 

The Prince's Islanders call their language Gotta G